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Sunday, February 23, 2014

RIP, "Double-D." The Passing of a Patriot

Today, I found this message in my Yahoo Mail inbox:
Dan "Double D" Dowling
4-Jan-1959 - 22-Feb-2014
NHPGR patch final draft 3-28-13U.S. Marine Corps emblem

Heaven's Gate has a new Marine guard. Danny "Double D" Dowling passed this afternoon surrounded by family. Now we as a group need to stand by Diane and help her get through this trying time.  Danny's last words to me were "See you on the other side." As always, he was upbeat and always the "Marine" with a very positive attitude. Everything was just another "bump in the road". We can all take that lesson from him.  I'm sure that's what has gotten him this far in life. He was always proud to be a member of the PGR. He used to say that he could count his friends on one hand with several fingers left over until he joined the NH PGR. Now he has been blessed with innumerable friends. He will be greatly missed!
Semper Fi Marine,
Paul Baptiste (Cageman63)
Our NHPRG Ride Captain Dan Dowling had been suffering for the past months with terminal cancer.  The NHPGR organized a number of visits to him, both at the hospital, and at his home.  When all hope of recovery was lost, Dan was released to die at home, as he had wished.  Here was his last message to his comrades in the NHPGR:
To All My Brothahs and Sistahs of the Patriot Guard
A heartfelt thank you to all. It was truly an amazing surprise to see everybody. I can’t thank you enough for the overwhelming support you have shown me and my family. Just like the Grinch, my heart grew ten times bigger that day.
It is a very humbling experience to be on this side of the mission. You all know, I am not a fan of individual recognition because we are a group, a team, and a family, and we do it all together. That’s what makes it work.
Words cannot describe how grateful I am to be able to surround myself with people like you. We don’t always get the chance to say goodbye individually.
It was an honor and a privilege to have stood beside each and every one of you.
God Bless,
Double D
I pray for such courage and grace, when it becomes time to come to "the other side of the mission."

Rest in Peace, Double-D. 

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