Marine SGT
Gaylord, MI
Operation Enduring Freedom
Memorial Location: 

Otsego County Courthouse
225 W. Main St
Gaylord, MI

Died while conducting combat operations in Badghis province, Afghanistan.

He was assigned to 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, Marine Special Operations Regiment, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

David (Dave) Pirie Day was born on November 13, 1984, to Don and Kathy Day in Littleton, Colorado. He spent the first 13 years of his life there and enjoyed swimming, baseball, basketball, football, and participating in scouting programs. The family moved to Gaylord, Michigan, in late March of 1998. Dave had wanted to play hockey in Littleton, but due to the long waiting list, he was out of luck. In Gaylord, he was able to participate and found that he loved playing hockey. He played with the Otsego County recreational organization and was a co-captain of the Midget team during his senior year in high school. During his high school years Dave also tried football and wrestling during his junior year and was on the swim team during his senior year. Dave enjoyed the more rural life style of Gaylord versus that of suburban Denver and loved snowmobiling, shooting and hunting.
Dave had always wanted to join the Marines and at the beginning of his senior year of high school he joined on a delayed entry program. After graduation, he reported to the United States Marine Corps in September 2003. After Boot Camp, he tested for and was invited to attend the Amphibious Reconnaissance training (this is the Marine Corps Special Forces). One of the strengths the Marine Corps found Dave possessed was being a very good swimmer. Dave also excelled in land navigation, a skill he learned in the Boy Scouts. After graduating second in his class in Recon training, he attended jump school and SERE (survival, escape, resistance and evasion) training before being assigned to a recon team in Okinawa, Japan. During his four year tour at Okinawa, he was deployed twice to Iraq to support Operation Iraqi Freedom. His first deployment was in 2005, as a recon team member. The second time (after extending his enlistment for one year in 2008) as a Sergeant and team leader. Between tours in Iraq, Dave was assigned to a Marine Expeditionary Unit and spent time in South Korea, the Philippine Islands, Guam and Australia. In 2008, Sergeant Day was awarded Team Leader of the Year, for the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, beating out 60 other Recon Teams. During this time he also was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal for Valor. While in Iraq Dave reenlisted and requested reassignment to Explosive Ordinance Disposal School, a nine month course. On October 6, 2009, shortly before finishing EOD School, Dave married his sweetheart Nicole Makins of Gaylord.
Upon graduation from EOD School, Dave was assigned to the Marines Second Special Operations Battalion out of Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. While there Dave spent another year of training for combat in Afghanistan. On November 25, Thanksgiving Day, 2009, he was deployed to support Operation Enduring Freedom. On April 24, 2011, Easter Sunday, while conducting combat operations in Badghis province, Afghanistan, Marine Sergeant David P. Day was killed by a roadside improvised explosive device.
Sergeant David P. Day’s Awards and Decorations include the Bronze Star with Combat "V" for Valor (posthumously), the Purple Heart Medal (posthumously), the Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal with V device, the Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Gold Star, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terror Service Medal, the NATO Service Medal, Parachutist (Jump) Wings, Expert Marksmanship Badge and the EOD Badge. Sergeant David P. Day was posthumously promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant on 1 May 2011.


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