Those We Lost
Those We Lost
Michael Joseph Daly
Michael Joseph Daly, 83, died July 25 of pancreatic cancer in his home in Fairfield, Connecticut. A lieutenant and later a captain in the Army's Third Infantry Division, he was awarded the Medal of Honor from President Harry Truman on August 23, 1945. Credited with single-handedly fighting off and killing fifteen Germans as well as demolishing three machine-gun emplacements - one from ten yards away - during the battle for Nuremberg in the Second World War, he was evacuated the day after the heroic event after sustaining injuries from a bullet to the face in a separate firefight. He was also awarded three Silver Stars, a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts during his time in the army. On the day after Daly was awarded his Medal of Honor, a parade was held in Fairfield for both Daly and his father, a colonel who had been injured in France.
Daly was born in New York City in 1926, the son of a highly decorated WWI veteran. He attended the United States Military Academy at West Point but did not graduate, instead enlisting in the Army as a private. He worked as a salesman for an oil company and as a real estate investor after the war.
Daly leaves behind his wife, Margaret Wallace Daly, a son, Michael, and a daughter, Deirdre Daly, as well as two sisters, a stepson and stepdaughter, and three grandsons.
Pfc. Joseph Dwyer, 31 years old, died on June 28 in North Carolina in the tragic aftermath of his time in Iraq, another casualty of a war that the American public has long lost faith in.
Dwyer enlisted as an Army medic right after 9/11 and suddenly became the face of America's heroism in 2003, at the beginning of the invasion, when a famous picture of Dwyer carrying a small Iraqi boy to safety was plastered in newspapers, TV footage, and magazine covers.
With a brother in the NYPD and another serving in the U.S. Air Force, Dwyer felt compelled to join the Army two days after 9/11, needing to do something to protect his family and his country. When he came home to El Paso, Texas a few months later, he was a changed man. Paranoid and gripped with fear and shock from his experience, he began what would become years of sporadic treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and, eventually, addiction. He became a Baptist, trying to find peace in scripture, but also sought comfort from drinking and inhaling spray fumes from cans of solvent. His wife eventually left him, afraid to expose herself and their young daughter any longer to his delusional and violent episodes. Despite countless efforts from his friends and parents to help him recover from the war, there seemed to be no cure. In October 2005, after an attempted intervention by friends failed, Dwyer shot up his apartment in a fit of delusion, insisting he could tell the SWAT team where the Iraqis were. He was arrested but discharged after the incident, and eventually moved to Pinehurst, North Carolina.
On June 28, police discovered Joseph Dwyer alone in his apartment, surrounded by pill bottles and aerosol cans. He was already dying.