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Trump pays tribute to fallen Cape Coral soldier at Memorial Day event

The father of a Cape Coral man who died serving our country said the president’s tribute on Memorial Day was overwhelming.

William Eggers said he thought he was dreaming when President Donald Trump said his son’s name at a Memorial Day event at Fort McHenry in Baltimore.

He wasn’t dreaming. In fact, he said his faith tells him that even though his son has been gone for years, his spirit is still alive.

On May 16, 2004, less than two weeks before his death, 28-year-old Army Green Beret Capt. Daniel William Eggers called his parents from Afghanistan.

“‘I’ve done everything I’ve wanted to do in life,'” his father recalled him saying. “And he said if I don’t come home … he said I’ll always be with you.”

It can be hard to hear something like that from your son, but William and his wife Margo are a family of faith, clinging to their son’s words 16 years later.

“I just … I just can’t get the words out of my mouth without tearing up,” William said.

Daniel died when his Humvee hit a landmine in Afghanistan. His father saw a lot of death when he served in Vietnam.

“I spent twenty years trying to forget it and then the next 30 years trying to remember it.”

He’ll never forget Daniel.

“When your son … it’s a different story. We shouldn’t be burying our children.”

But the Army vet who thought perhaps he’d seen it all didn’t see it coming when the president commemorated his son’s sacrifice before the world.

“Today we honor Daniel’s exceptional life and valor, and we promise you we will treasure his blessed life forever,” Trump said.

“What the … wow!” William said. “My son’s name came out in his speech, Capt. Daniel Eggers. I felt the tears on the outside of my eyes, they were going down my cheeks.”

Through those tears, and in front of the president, William again felt his son’s presence.

“Danny said it, I’ll always be with you.”

WINK News asked Daniel’s mom, Margo, off-camera why the president honored her son. Why did the Army name a base in Afghanistan after him? What made him special to so many people?

She said that Daniel lived his faith, and he made everyone he met feel loved, like they were his best friend.

President Donald Trump’s full remarks about Capt. Daniel Eggers:

“Army Green Beret Captain Daniel Eggers grew up in Cape Coral, Florida, determined to continue his family’s tradition of military service — and it was a great tradition. He attended the legendary Citadel Military College in South Carolina. Soon, he met a beautiful cadet, Rebecca. They fell in love, married, and had two sons.

“In 2004, Daniel left for his second deployment in Afghanistan. On the morning of May 29th, Daniel and his team were courageously pursuing a group of deadly terrorists when he was killed by an improvised explosive device.

“This week is the 16th anniversary of the day that Daniel made the supreme sacrifice for our nation. He laid down his life to defeat evil and to save his fellow citizens.

“At the time of his death, Daniel’s sons Billy and John were three and five years old. Today, they have followed in Daniel’s footsteps — both students at the Citadel planning to serve in the military. Their amazing mom Rebecca has now served more than 23 years in the U.S. Army. Everywhere she goes, she wears Daniel’s Gold Star pin on the lapel of her uniform.

“Colonel Rebecca Eggers and her two sons are here today, along with Daniel’s father Bill and mother Margo. To the entire Eggers family: Your sacrifice is beyond our ability to comprehend or repay.

“Today, we honor Daniel’s incredible life and exceptional valor, and we promise you that we will cherish his blessed memory forever.”

Reporter:Sydney Persing
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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