KIA September 5, 2007
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Assigned to the 1stSquadron, 7thCavalry Regiment, 3rdBrigade Combat Team, 1stCavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas
SPC Dane Balcon was killed September 5, 2007, when an IED detonated near his unit. On the day that SPC Balcon was killed, Dane was scheduled to be off duty, but his commitment to his country and service led him to volunteer for the mission when his team needed another member. Army CPL William “Billy” Warford was also killed.
Born in 1988 at Luke AFB in Arizona, SPC Dane R. Balcon was destined to serve. It came as no surprise to his family that at only three years old, he told his mother he wanted to be a soldier as Dane was born to a family rich in service. He was fourth generation military. Dane had a great-great grandfather who served in WWI at the age of 20, two great grandfathers who served during WWII, a grandfather who served in Vietnam, and is the son of a father that served during the Balkans conflict and a Mother with a 22-year-long Air Force career.
In High School, Dane spent his time in the ROTC program to prepare for his future in the military, and in his senior year, served as the Drill Team Commander of his ROTC unit. He also had a love for playing the snare drum, despite not knowing how to read sheet music. Dane was never one to shy away from a challenge, especially when he believed in himself, so Dane used his passion to become the first-chair snare player on the drum line.
Dane graduated from High Sand Creek High school and enlisted in to the Army in 2007 after attending a semester of college classes. He attended Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma before deploying to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in Balad, Iraq on July 7, 2007 at the age of 19-years-old.
“There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of Dane and the ultimate price he paid and the supreme sacrifice he made for a cause he felt was far greater than himself,” his mother, Carla Sizer, said. “He truly believed in what he was doing and was so proud to have the opportunity to be a soldier and to serve his country.”
The Bronze Star recipient lived a passionate life, fighting earnestly for what he believed in, in the hopes that one day he would help provide the possibility of peace and the chance of a good life for those who had suffered.
When he was just a senior in high school, Dane was asked to write about his greatest fear in an essay, stating:
“When I go, I hope that they remember me and what I did. [I was] once asked what my fear was and I said that mine was failure which is true. But my greatest fear, the thing I fear most is being forgotten, because I will never forget what I have done. I will never forget those days in the sun… thriving in my moments with my brothers in hard earned glory.”
SPC Dane Balcon was 19 years old from Glendale, Arizona.
The original portrait was presented on October 4, 2018 to his mother, Carla Sizer, and family during a special memorial presentation sponsored by Vizient Inc. in Las Vegas, Nevada.