Soldier Honored: Daniel A. Quintana
Hometown: Huntington Park, CA
Branch of Service: Army
Rank: Staff Sgt.
Staff Sergeant (SSG) Daniel Quintana, 30, of Huntington Park, CA, left southern California to join a Job Corps program in San Jose. He had been struggling in school at the time and saw the program as a way to catch up on credits and obtain a diploma. The program shaped him into a more “driven” individual, his father said. SSG Quintana enlisted in the Air Force as soon as he graduated. His job in the Air Force as a military police officer involved typical duties: foot patrol, traffic stops and domestic disputes. When he was off duty, he would play racquetball with fellow officers. He also loved to explore Spanish cities and towns. However, that year, as the U.S. led the invasion of Iraq, Quintana decided he wanted to be a soldier and fight on the front lines.
After finishing his tour of duty in Spain, Quintana returned to Huntington Park for a few months then enlisted in the Army in 2005. SSG Quintana served two tours in Iraq before being deployed to Afghanistan with 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 172nd Infantry Brigade, Schweinfurt, Germany. He was killed September 10, 2011, in Paktika province, Afghanistan, when insurgents attacked his unit using small-arms fire. Even after he was struck in the chest and fell to the ground, SSG Quintana continued to cover for soldiers behind him. As a young boy, SSG Quintana loved playing sports and his favorite football team was the Dallas Cowboys.
SSG Quintana is survived by his wife, daughter and two sons, one of which is a Folds of Honor Higher Education Scholarship recipient.