On January 9, 2002, United States Marine Corps Captain Daniel G. McCollum was killed in an aircraft accident during a mission for Operation Enduring Freedom.

McCollum was born in Tallahassee, Florida to a mother who was a high school math teacher and a father who was a marine biologist. He was raised in Beaufort, South Carolina with an older brother. He moved to Columbia, South Carolina with his mother, brother, and stepfather when he was nine. His childhood was a beautiful one, full of adventures and lots of outdoor activities. McCollum loved all things, particularly if they involved the outdoors or water. He earned his black belt in karate and earned the rank of Eagle Scout. 

Inspired by Marines at Parris Island, McCollum decided to join the USMC during college in 1995. Above all, he loved flying for the Marine Corps and his ultimate goal was to have a career as a naval aviator. He also tossed around the idea of one day working for Homeland Security. A highlight of his time in the Corps, McCollum was given the opportunity to teach tactical martial arts to his squadron. 

He met his wife and best friend, Jennifer, at a wedding of mutual friends. Jennifer currently works with elementary-aged children as a mental health counselor. She also loves to travel and volunteer. In the future, she is most excited to continue to watch her son, Daniel McCollum Jr., as he pursues his own dreams. Jennifer would like others to know how much McCollum loved our country, his family, and how proud he was to serve seven honorable years with the United States Marine Corps. 

United States Marine Corps Captain Daniel G. McCollum is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and his son, Daniel Jr.