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Post Office Renamed For Fallen Jewish Soldier  
Army Specialist Daniel Agami may be gone, but his memory will live on forever in his family’s hearts and at a Coconut Creek post office.

U.S. Representative Ron Klein (FL-22) passed legislation calling for the post office at 4233 West Hillsboro Blvd. in Coconut Creek to honor the name of Army Specialist Daniel Agami, who passed away at 25 years old. While serving in Baghdad, a bomb ripped through his Bradley tank, killing him and four other soldiers in the vehicle on June 21, 2007.

“The dedication of the Coconut Creek Post Office is a small token to Specialist Daniel Agami for his service and sacrifice on behalf of our country. The values that he lived by on the battlefield and in our local community are an inspiration to all of us,” said Congressman Klein.

Agami’s family, including his mother Beth Agami, attended the dedication and told guests about Daniel and his legacy. Daniel was a born leader, proud of his American-Jewish heritage, and he served his community with pride, according to his mother. Specialist Agami was raised in South Florida. He attended Coconut Creek High School and lived in Parkland as well. While attending college, Daniel made the decision to enlist in the United States Army. He served in Iraq for about a year.

For his service in Iraq, Specialist Agami was posthumously presented with the Purple Heart, The Bronze Star, the Good Conduct Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

“We are profoundly honored and thankful to have been asked to have the Coconut Creek Post Office Building dedicated to our beloved son,” said his mother. “Daniel was a heroic warrior full of courage, bravery and patriotism. We humbly ask that you see Daniel as a symbol for all American soldiers who have served our country with such diligence and valor.”

In neighboring Parkland, where Beth, husband, Itzhak and daughter Shaina Agami reside, Daniel’s memory is also honored with a tree planted in front of Parkland City Hall and his picture hanging in the Parkland Library.

“There is nothing we can do but honor and thank you for the sacrifice you have given, but we try. This is our little way of trying to honor you and Daniel,” said Parkland Mayor Michael Udine at the dedication.

The Parkland mom thanked local leaders and communities for keeping her son’s memory alive.

“Our family is truly grateful to the hard work and dedication of Congressman Ron Klein for making the Coconut Creek Post Office Dedication and renaming a reality. We are honored by the outpouring support of people from many different communities,” said Beth Agami. “We hope that when people enter the post office and you see our son, brother, and grandson, SPC Daniel Agami's picture hanging on the wall, please take a moment to think about Daniel, his sacrifice, and all American soldiers in all past and present wars, who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to defend our noble country. Perhaps, go even one step further; next time you visit the post office, bring a care package to send to our men and women off at war.”
New York Times Article  

Selected writings of Pfc. Daniel J. Agami, 25, who was driving a Bradley fighting vehicle on June 21, 2007, when it hit an IED.

E-mail messages:



MOM ABBA,


I CANT BELIEVE IT ACTUALLY AIRD ON TV. THATS UNREAL. I ALSO SAW THE PAGE THAT IM ON THE FRONT OF IN THE SPADER WEBSIGHT. SGT. YBAY PRINTED IT OUT FOR ME. I TOLD YOU I WOULD GET ON THE NEWS! I WAS VERY NERVOUSE, I DONT KNOW WHY BUT WHEN I SEE A CAMMERA I STALL. ANYWAYS I WILLL TRY TO CALL IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS BUT IT HAS BEEN VERY ROUGH BETWEEN ALL TYHE MOVING FROM FOBB TO FOBB. AND I DONT HAVE INTERNET IN MY NEW ROOM YET. I LOVE YOU GUYS.


DANIEL


OH GUESS WHAT?


IM GETTING AN AWARD!!!!!


I CANT TELL YOU WHY YET BECAUSE ITS STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION BUT I DID AN AMAZING THING THAT STILL AMAZES ME AND EVERYONE ELSE. YAY FOR ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





Daniel's eulogy for his friend Ryan Hill:



mom this is the speach i read.


When I first met Ryan it was when I over heard him say a mother joke to someone, I couldn't resist from laughing and that's when I knew right off the bat him and I were going to be good friends. Anytime someone is that quick witted I knew I met my match. Not only was he a guy who can make anyone laugh but he was one of the most squared away soldier the army has to offer. Hill always made it a point to help or square someone away even though it sometimes wasn't in the most discrete way. If you were wrong he would make sure you knew it. Any time he was asked to do a detail no matter how big or how small it may be his response was "roger" no questions asked.


I trusted him with all my life especially out in sector. He was quick on the gun and always ready for anything that was thrown his way. Even though he caught a lot of slack for being a little over weight he never failed a pt test, fell out of a 6 to 7 mile run and he was; as he would like to put it "a road marching fool." Everyday he would come with me to the gym to better himself physically and mentally so when he got back to the rear he can live up to the army standard.

Our platoon is not the only family Hill had. He has a wonderful mother and sister that he would drop anything in the world for and so would they. He would call them on a daily base just to say hi. I think he spent more money on phone cards than anything else all year. I know that he was the one who wore the pants in his family. He would take care of his mother as best as he could while being thousands of miles away. Anytime she would have a domestic problem he was on the ball and making sure it was resolved to the best of his ability.


Hill is one of the wittiest and funniest men I have ever met. He knew how to push peoples buttons, but it was always out of good fun, I often joined in. It got so bad that him and I started a war between each other and our stupid mother jokes. I know it went to far when it ended up on Myspace and his mother found out about it then called him screaming telling him to stop this stupid war. I thought I won but I guess I was wrong he didn't let it stop there, he had to get me back. About a month later I left the barracks for about 3 hours to pick up a friend from the airport. I couldn't wait for her to meet hill and I told her all about him. When I came back I went to my room and my mattress was missing and all my close were being worn by other people. I couldn't figure it out so I knew right off the bat who to go to, Hill. I saw him walking down the hall wearing five of my winter jackets. He sold half my wardrobe right off his back to people in our company and my mattress was in someone else's room. So then I had to go around and buy all my stuff back. (now I think he one).


I know that right now he is in a better place. A place where he watching over us with sgt. Seizmore, sgt. Mock, spc. Mcginess, and pfc. Newguard, making sure we are all safe and we get home to our family's without a scratch or any harm . Hill would want us all to be as careful as possible, don't lose hope and keep our moral high. If we lose our bearings now then more tragedy will happen. Hill always thought we had the best company in the battalion so lets show hill and the other brave soldiers we have lost that we will continue our mission until mission complete. I love you hill and you will always be in my heart forever.


Thank you



COMMANDER MOM, I CANT WAIT TO COME HOME AND WHEN I DO DONT WORRY ILL HAVE ALLOT TO SAY TO THE Congregation. DONT WORRY ABOUT MY MENTAL STAGE EITHER, WE ALL Receive Counseling AND HELP FROM DOCTORS WHEN Something LIKE THIS HAPPENS. I AM A STRONG INDIVIDUAL PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY AND IF THERE IS ONE THING THE ARMY TEACHES YOU, IT IS HOW TO DEAL WITH DEATH. EVERYDAY THAT PASSES IT GETS EASIER AND EASIER. I MISS YOU GUYS VERY MUCH AND I LOVE YOU!


DANIEL




mom,


The article you wrote was awesome. I haven't been able to use the computers or phones in the past two weeks because im not on my regular base. i was convoyed up to northern Iraq to learn a new weapon system. it soooooooo cool and im having a great time. i will be going back to fobb loyalty in the next few days, so don't worry i will call you guys when i get back. I will also see about me making it home for ilans wedding but you might have to choose if i should come home on Passover or the wedding, i know its in year from now and we might not be back from iraq yet, but well see. i love you guys and miss you very much.


Daniel


Spread the Word: Iraq-Nam  
Friday, June 29, 2007 

Daniel Agami laid to rest 

United States Army Specialist Daniel J. Agami, 25, affectionately known as "G.I. Jew," was killed in Baghdad on June 21 when an improvised explosive device detonated near the humvee in which he and four other soldiers were riding. Over 1000 people attended his funeral this past Tuesday where he was buried with full military honors at Star of David Cemetery in North Lauderdale. Agami was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, and the Army Commendation Medal.

Born in Ohio, Daniel moved with his family to South Florida at the age of four. He attended the Hebrew Academy Community School in Margate, and his Jewish education and experiences at the school left an indelible impression on him. He graduated from Coconut Creek High School and was attending college when he made the decision two years ago to enlist in the United States Army.

Rabbi Yossi Denburg, Dean of the Hebrew Academy Community School, and spiritual leader of Chabad of Coral Springs officiated at the funeral.

"Daniel did not consult with anyone when he enlisted. He simply felt a calling," Denburg said. "He always knew his life was meant for a greater significance and purpose and first and foremost, Daniel was a soldier in G-d’s Army."

Denburg went on to describe Daniel’s unique Jewish-American legacy.

"He kept kosher while in the Army, he slept with an American and Israeli flag over his bunk, his rifle had a sign titled "The Hebrew Hammer," and he named the U.S. Army issued yalmulke his "Combatika," Denberg said. "Daniel’s sense of humor and love of life was evident in all that he did."

According to Captain Jared Purcell, Public Affairs Officer in Baghdad, in addition to his role as a combat soldier, Daniel was a mentor to orphaned children in Iraq.

"Daniel did a lot of work with local schools," Purcell explained. "His ‘Charlie Company’ helped refurbish many schools in Adhamiyah and Daniel was always right in the middle of it with the children and you could see how much they loved him."

Chaplain Rabbi (Col.) Jacob Goldstein, Office of the Chief of Chaplains, US Army, told the crowd, "Today I had the honor of bringing home a true soldier," as he recounted tales of Daniel’s memorable take-charge initiative and Jewish pride.

Brigadier General Nolen V. Bivens, Chief of Staff, United States Southern Command, remarked that during Agami’s his short two-year tenure in the army he distinguished himself as a model soldier who was not only physically and morally strong but also devoted to his fellow soldiers.

"During his tour, Daniel was awarded the Bronze Star after chasing a sniper on foot to defend his convoy," Bivens said. "As a front-line soldier, he was interviewed for the TV show, "The O’Reilly Factor," as well as MSNBC, and articles for "Newsweek" and "Veterans for America." We mourn his loss, but take comfort that Daniel died proudly defending his belief that: America fights for the freedom and survival of the entire world."

In an interview with FJN this week, Emmy-Award winning television journalist Bill O’Reilly, of "The O’Reilly Factor," commented, "I interviewed this young man in December 2006. Here you have a situation of a young guy volunteering, who could have done a myriad of other things. But, he was convinced his presence was helping his country. His death and all the other deaths are a tragedy. Ninety percent of the forces feel the same as Daniel. You may differ or agree with the war, but you must agree they are patriots and I think of them as heroes, myself."

O’Reilly continued, "No soldier or Marine in the theater does what Daniel did without tremendous parent. He had a true moral compass that he received from them."

The evening of the funeral, "The O’Reilly Factor" led with the story of Daniel’s death, as did all the local news.

Following the service, the American flag draped casket was escorted by an Honor Guard, and rabbis from all over South Florida, including Rabbi Yosef Biston of Chabad of Parkland, where the Agami family resides. Once at the gravesite, the rifleman fired off eighteen volleys of shots, rather than the usual twenty-one, to signify "chai," the Jewish symbol for life.

Brigadier General Bivens kneeled upon presenting the folded flag to Daniel’s mother, Beth "Bluma" Agami, and father Yitzhak. At their side were newlywed brother Ilan, 22, and his wife Elisha, his seven-year-old sister Shaina, 7, and maternal grandmother Sandy Becker.

On behalf of President George W. Bush, Bivens presented the family with multiple medals of honor including The Purple Heart, The Bronze Star, The Good Conduct Medal, The Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, The Iraqi Campaign Medal and The Combat Infantryman’s Badge. Agami was posthumously promoted from Private First Class to the rank of Specialist one day previous.

Other military officials in attendance included some fifty representatives from the Jewish War Veterans, Retired Army Chaplain Sandy Dresin, of The Aleph Institute, Major Mack Waters, Southern Command; and Casualty Assistance Officer, Lt. Col. Douglas Maddox, Jr., who later told FJN, "You should know that the Army had some phenomenal plans for Daniel. They were going to use his talents and center an advertising campaign around him as an ambassador for the United States Army. The campaign was slated to commence in three months when Daniel was to return stateside. He was an extraordinary young man with a tremendous love of country, love of family, and love of faith."

A little over two weeks ago, the Agami clan celebrated the marriage of Daniel’s younger brother, Ilan. Daniel could not attend, but they were able to arrange a phone hook-up to Daniel in Baghdad. He told his family, "I’ll be back in December."

From NEWSWEEK  
Walk Through Fire 

Hard times feed the insurgency, and the insurgency keeps Iraq in ruins. A report from the front, such as it is.

By Rod Nordland
Newsweek 

April 9, 2007 issue - If Col. Don Farris hoped to score points on his visit to Charlie Company, he was out of luck. He brought a message from the relative safety of brigade headquarters in At Taji, north of Baghdad, to the troops at Patrol Base Apache in Adhamiya, one of the deadliest neighborhoods in the capital. We have to get out there on foot, he told the grunts—that's how we're going to win over the locals and get to know what's really going on: foot patrols. "F--- that," more than a few of the troops muttered as he spoke. The soldier they call Dragonslayer retreated to his bunk to sit staring at his stuffed toy dragon; he's been carrying it on missions lately, ignoring the worried glances he gets from his buddies. Even one of the most gung-ho men in the unit, a Miamian known affectionately as GI Jew, didn't buy the pep talk. "There's no way that's happening," he said, almost loud enough for the colonel to hear.

Nevertheless, Charlie Company is still obeying orders—after a fashion. Its soldiers have gone out on dismounted patrols, but with the heavy firepower of their gun trucks rumbling along right behind them. They couldn't go unprotected, says Pfc. Daniel Agami: "Walk out of here in the middle of the day without enough firepower and you have to retreat? Guess what, your whole platoon is f---ed."

Yet without old-fashioned, unescorted foot patrols the Baghdad Security Plan—the surge—is almost certainly doomed. It's not enough that body counts are down, at least for now. The plan depends on U.S. and Iraqi troops getting out on the streets to win civilians' trust and cooperation and make the city safe enough for real reconstruction, which in turn would create jobs and give ordinary Iraqis something worth defending against the insurgents and death squads. At present, though, most parts of the capital are still waiting for reinforcements, and some areas won't reach full strength until June. Adhamiya is getting maximum priority, with an entire Iraqi brigade and most of an American battalion already deployed, billets full. This was the part of town where Saddam Hussein last dared to go out in public before he went underground in April 2003, and it has been a hotbed of the Sunni insurgency ever since. The rest of the city won't be secure until places like Adhamiya are under control.

Charlie Company is there to help the Iraqis get it done. Its soldiers may not like doing foot patrols, but they're proud of the unit they belong to. Of seven members who have been killed since this tour began last fall, one is now up for a congressional Medal of Honor. Pfc Ross McGinnis was riding as gunner in a Humvee last December when a grenade landed in the vehicle. He threw himself onto it, giving up his own life for his four crewmates. "Any other outfit would have lost 20 or 30 guys by now instead of seven," says Sergeant Jay—Robert Johnson, a muscular, heavily tattooed 27-year-old from South Boston who volunteered for this tour, his second in Iraq. "That's how switched-on we are." He's a Military Transition Team (MiTT) adviser, training Iraqi troops to take over from U.S. forces, and like most Charlie Company members he believes in the mission. "It's night and day compared to before," he says of the Iraqi Army this time around. "They're still not up to our standards, but it makes you feel a little bit better about getting out of here on time." The Iraqi Police are a different matter. "The IPs, they're all militias," he says. "You can keep them all. But the Army is all right."


Danny in the News... "Checkpoint Baghdad"  

http://checkpointbaghdad.talk.newsweek.com/default.asp?item=532526

Full Post
Posted March 20, 2007 7:32:08 PM
Fort Apache
By Rod Nordland

Patrol Base Apache, Baghdad, March 20, 2007--This is the Baghdad Security Plan at its grass roots level, one of some 77 Combat Outposts (COPs) and Joint Security Stations (JSSs) that the U.S. military has set up in Baghdad's neighborhoods, with American and Iraqi army troops working side by side. This particular one is in Adhamiya, which is, as an Iraqi interpreter nicknamed Steve-O puts it, "the worst place in Baghdad." There are several contenders for that dubious honor, but Adhamiya certainly is one of the most resolutely anti-government neighborhoods, a hardline Sunni area, which is home to the Sunni community's most treasured mosque, Abu Hanifa, and peopled with former Baath Party officials. It was also the last place in Baghdad where Saddam hid out before fleeing the American advance.

Apache is technically a COP, but a big one, with a battalion of Iraqi troops in the palace next door, and a large number of American troops in a separately guarded, hardened compound of their own along the Tigris River. There's no accident about the patrol base's name, says American military adviser Major Peter Zike, head of Apache's Military Transition Team (MiTT), as the advisers are called. "On any given day you'll get five attacks from three directions here," he says. They're patrolling so frequently that Zike himself went through two IED near misses just last week, not uncommon for any of the soldiers at Apache, part of the 82nd Airborne's surge into Baghdad--although most of these troops are 1st Infantry Division, attached to the 82nd. In Adhamiya district as a whole, just in the first month of the Baghdad Security Plan, five American soldiers have been killed and seven Iraqi Army troops as well; two of those American casualties and two of the Iraqis were out of Apache.

Today many of the troops went off in convoy up to battalion headquarters in Taji, for a memorial service for the latest soldier who died, Pfc. Alberto Garcia Jr., 23, from Bakersfield, Calif., of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion of the 26th Infantry. See-ya, as his friends called him, was in a Humvee on a patrol on March 13 through a residential quarter of Adhamiya, four Humvees and two Bradley fighting vehicles full of American troops, when an IED was exploded right under his vehicle. Garcia was killed and one other soldier wounded. "You know what they say, you shouldn't crap where you sleep, but this person that put the IED did just that," said Pfc. Daniel Agami, 25, from Miami, who had been there. The next day the Americans and Iraqi army soldiers came back and searched every building on that street, and found a huge IED and car-bomb manufacturing plant in a house only 500 feet from the IED site. After clearing the street of residents, "We blew up the f--g house off the face of the earth," Agami said.


Video: Second Platoon watches as a U.S. Army demolitions team blows up a bomb factory in Adhamiya

The detonation actually was a controlled one by an Army demolitions team, because among the arsenal in the house were booby-trapped landmines -- much safer to blow than to disarm, officers said. The blast damaged a house across the street, and soldiers issued the owners a claim check, so they could file for compensation at the Adhamiya District Advisory Council.

It may take a while to process that claim. The Adhamiya District Advisory Council's previous chairman, Sheikh Hassan Sabri, is in jail, suspected of working with insurgents; his replacement, Mudhafer al-Ubardi, was assassinated last Thursday on his way to work. So far there's no official replacement. Citizens needing assistance can also go to the new Joint Security Station, a facility where coalition and Iraqi military, as well as Iraqi police, are on hand to coordinate neighborhood security and to interact with the public; new JSSs are being set up at a rapid pace throughout Baghdad. But if there's one place in Adhamiya tougher than Apache, it's the Joint Security Station, located at the Adhamiya police station. Only 500 meters from Apache, the only way from one to the other is by armored convoy. That JSS has been attacked nearly every day since it opened a week ago; yesterday, in one attack, insurgents used rocket-propelled grenades, small arms and a grenade against various walls of the compound, and implanted an IED on another wall.

As far as Zike is concerned, for all the problems in Adhamiya, the security plan is going well. Sectarian killings are way down, militia and other armed irregulars are off the streets. "I do not have as many armed people running around the streets, and that's good. Before, we'd find eight bodies a day, murder victims, now we find one a week." But that hasn't stopped the Sunni insurgents and their Al Qaeda allies in Adhamiya, who have redoubled their efforts. "They want a voice in what's happening and are trying to make up the difference by doing the insurgent thing."

Now, however, there are more U.S. troops as well as more Iraqi troops on the scene--Adhamiya has probably four or five times the number of total troops that were present previously. In addition to being in half a dozen COPs and JSSs throughout the area, both Americans and Iraqis are running operations much more frequently, mostly at night--tonight they plan to hit a dozen targets before dawn, some of them joint attacks and some even run independently by the Iraqi Army. Early this morning, teams from Apache went out with Explosive Ordinance Disposal teams at 5 a.m. to blow up five IEDs that they had found along a main road. "The local populace came and told us they were there, go figure," Zike said. "The population's getting tired of having their stuff blown up."

All of this means a lot more work for troops, many of whom previously spent large chunks of their war holed up in Forward Operating Bases, running long distances through Baghdad to whatever mission they were assigned. So far, at least, most of the soldiers at Apache seem to prefer getting out frequently, and many of them say they feel it makes them safer in the long run. "We go out more and we do more," said Spec. Joshua Reyes of El Paso, Texas. "I'd rather be doing ops than driving up and down the roads waiting for something to happen." So far, a lot of those things that have happened have been bad. His own Charlie Company, here since last August, has had seven soldiers killed so far. Their names are scratched in the cement wall of Reyes's guard tower at Apache, next to the machine gun poking through a narrow window in the wall; the armored window of a Humvee has been wedged into a hole in the wall to protect spotters from insurgent snipers. A sign reminds the lookouts that if they get incoming, they should radio to the JSS to duck, before they return fire. In Adhamiya, at least, the Baghdad Security Plan still has a long way to go.


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