Profile of a veteran: Daniel Gaskill


photo courtesy of Adam Gaskill

CESJDS parent and Marines veteran Daniel Gaskill stands with his oldest son.

Sabrina Bramson and Sally Rogal

Veterans Day is a time to honor everyone who has served in the U.S. Armed Forces throughout the years. It is also a day to recognize specific individuals in various communities who have served: teachers, doctors, coaches and even parents.

CESJDS honors those in the community who have served for our country through an assembly in which the names of various relatives who are veterans are read aloud.

One of the names read at the assembly was Daniel Gaskill, father of eighth-grader Hannah Gaskill and junior Adam Gaskill, who was a Marine from 1989 to 1994 in the Gulf War. Although Daniel was not present for this recognition, Hannah and Adam rose in their seats to honor their father’s service, together with the dozens of other students who stood alongside them for their own relatives.

Daniel learned about the invasion of Kuwait from the news and decided that he wanted to help liberate Kuwait from the Iraqi government. Daniel said that although he enlisted to help fight the Iraqis, he never got sent to Kuwait. Instead, Daniel was stationed in North Carolina.

My duties were to practice attacking beaches, and to drive and repair amphibious tanks,” Daniel said. “I was also in charge of the Substance Abuse Control Office, helping Marines with alcohol problems.”

Adam said that his father often recounts stories from his service and teaches Adam lessons he has learned from the Marines, such as the values of team bonding and persistence.

“He thinks that no matter what, you should never give up on someone on your team for anything,” Adam said. “Another thing would be that he hates if people give up. He thinks that you should always continue trying.”

Adam said that his father’s service in the Marines also affects Daniel’s parenting style, as at times he can be strict in regard to independence and “idleness”.

He only steps in to help with a problem we face if the situation requires it, because he thinks we should be independent and learn how to deal with things on our own,” Adam said.

Although Adam’s family does not do anything special to celebrate Veterans Day, his father does spend time with his friends from the Marines. Daniel said that his father also gets free meals on Veterans Day as thanks to his service.

I get uncomfortable when people thank me for my service because I was never actually in a war,” Daniel said. “I did so little and some others gave their lives.”