Seeing a familiar face in battle

June 23, 2009 4:24:05 PM PDT
Imagine recognizing your own son in combat video from overseas.

That's what happened to Jean Petersen and John Daly of Collingdale, Delaware County. It wasn't a war movie they were watching, but video, aired on national television, of a real-life firefight in southern Afghanistan.

In it was the couple's 39-year-old son John Daly, Jr., a Marine Chief Warrant Officer.

Over the weekend, Daly's unit came under attack by Taliban insurgents. The fight was captured by videographers embedded with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, 2nd Battalion 3rd Marines.

It's not like watching a war movie on TV, where the soldiers are actors," said Jean Petersen. "These are real soldiers, husbands and wives, our son. And the guns, and what was going on, it really was scary."

"That video was pretty intense," said Daly's brother James. "And it was real scary to see."

A gunner and twenty-year career Marine, the Collingdale native is seen on the video calling for air cover, which did eventually arrive.

"When I saw the video, I said 'He's taking charge, he knows what he's doing. I'm just hoping that nothing will hit him and he won't get hurt,' said Daly's father, John Sr.

Coming over the wall, Daly did suffer a badly sprained ankle and is seen being helped by fellow Marines. He told his parents by phone that he was lucky.

"He's actually anxious to get back to his unit," said his father.

John Daly, Jr. is the father of two. He's served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. His parents say hearing or reading war stories is one thing. Actually watching their son in action for the first time has been a whole other experience.

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