Sailor, Army reservist Daniel Way touched by Veteran’s Day Parade grand marshal honor

Nov 11, 2014, 7:20 AM | Updated: 7:20 am

PHOENIX — In December of 1987, Daniel Way made a decision that would change his life forever.

“I decided to join the military and I chose the Navy because it seemed like it had more opportunities,” Way said.

He served as an electronics technician on a Navy frigate and spent a lot of time overseas. “We had many, many, many deployments,” he recalled.

One of the most rewarding experiences Way had in the service, however, was meeting his future wife, Brenda.

“We were both enlisted at the time,” he said. “Once I realized that we couldn’t be together if I was on active duty and she was, then I decided that I was going to get out and so we became a couple at that point.”

The two were married and moved to Arizona. While Brenda pursued a career as a naval officer, Way joined the Arizona National Guard Reserves.

As the couple settled down, the largest attack on U.S. soil since Pearl Harbor happened: Sept. 11.

America went to war and soon after, so did Way. He recounted the call he received from his superior at the National Guard on his wife’s birthday.

“The guy that called me and said, ‘You need to pull over if you’re driving’ and you’re flooded with all these emotions because you’re training once a month and you’re expecting to go in the back of your mind but you don’t really expect it to happen,” he said.

Three days later, Way said goodbye to his family and left for Iraq.

“We were a transportation unit and we drove bulk fuel. So we had 75,000 gallons of whatever type of fuel in tankers that we drove,” he said.

Throughout the last decade, Way has served the United States in a number of operations, including Iraqi Freedom. He saw combat, aided troops, and brought every member of his platoon back home when their deployment was over.

Way’s wife, Brenda, nominated him to be one of this year’s grand marshals in the Veteran’s Day Parade.

“It was natural for me to want to submit him,” she said. “He didn’t know I did, so I didn’t tell him until he was nominated.”

She said her husband is a true war hero and while Way humbly disagreed, he said he’s never been more honored in his life.

“There is a lot of pride and there is a lot of humility and humbleness when I (think) about it,” he said.

“To represent all the people that I can would be … it’s just … wow. I don’t know what else to say, it’s kind of hard to talk about.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Petrified Forest National Park Photo)...
Alex Weiner

Triassic reptile discovered at Arizona’s Petrified Forest named after former park superintendent

A Triassic reptile species discovered at Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona was named after former park Superintendent and wife.
10 hours ago
(City of Phoenix Photo)...
Kevin Stone

New trash pickup days start this week for most of Phoenix

New pickup days go into effect Monday for 80% of the Phoenix's trash, garbage and green organic pickup customers.
10 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

Arizonan sentenced for Vegas-based scheme targeting migrants

An Arizona man who convinced recent immigrants from to pay him thousands of dollars each to help them gain U.S. citizenship has been sentenced to nearly six years in prison.
1 day ago
(Twitter Photo/@MesaPD)...

Mesa driver taken to hospital after vehicle strikes pole, crashes into canal

A driver in Mesa was taken to the hospital after their vehicle struck a street light and crashed into an irrigation canal Saturday.
1 day ago
(Pexels Photo)...

Arizona man sentenced for threatening a Social Security judge

A Willcox man has received a more than 25-month sentence for threatening to assault a federal employee on Monday.
1 day ago
(Facebook photo/City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department)...
Tom Kuebel

Papago Park in Phoenix introduces ADA-approved fishing dock

The Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department introduced a new fishing dock approved by guidelines set by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Sailor, Army reservist Daniel Way touched by Veteran’s Day Parade grand marshal honor