Air Force Staff Sgt. Daniel N. Fannin died Saturday in Afghanistan, less than three weeks after his 30th birthday.
Sgt. Fannin, a native of Morehead and graduate of Rowan County High School, was killed along with three other servicemen when the Air Force reconnaissance plane they were operating crashed about 100 miles north of Kandahar Air Force base. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
In a statement, his family said the 12-year veteran of the Air Force, "loved his family, his dog, and loved to fish and camp."
Sgt. Fannin was assigned to the 552nd Operations Support Squadron at Tinker Air Force Base. He was an airborne sensor operator and a qualified Air Force air surveillance instructor who had served with distinction at Tinker Air Force Base.
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Sgt. Fannin had also served three previous tours, The Air Force said that his honors included the Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster and the Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster.
Sgt. Fannin is survived by his wife, Sonya, of Oklahoma City, his mother and father and other relatives. In a statement, the family remembered him as a person who "always had a smile and kind words, and had a heart of gold." He died, they said, "just as he lived — serving God and others."
We honor his service and his sacrifice.