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The 2nd Marine Division Band plays during Master Gunnery Sgt. Brian Daneker’s retirement ceremony at W.P.T. Hill Field aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., June 13, 2011. Daneker bids farewell to the Marine Corps after 30 years of honorable service to his country. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado)

Photo by Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado

Master gunnery sergeant bids farewell after 30 years

10 Jun 2011 | Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado

A lot of people can argue about what the most beautiful uniform in the world is. To some, it may be the uniform worn by the men in blue that protect our cities from criminals; to others, it may be a uniform adorned by their favorite professional athlete.

For Master Gunnery Sgt. Brian Daneker, who retired after 30 years of honorable service to his country June 10, 2011, the answer has been obvious since early childhood. Daneker fell in love with the dress blue uniform when he watched his father unveil it for the first time at 6 years old.

“That’s when it started; that’s when I knew I wanted to be a Marine,” said Daneker.

The Lanesdale, Pa., native is from a long line of Marines. His father and uncles served in the Marine Corps, and he has a nephew currently serving with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. Though his Marine blood line runs thick, Daneker never planned on making a career of the military. As he closes the curtain on 30 years of service he can remember why he changed his mind.

“I never heard of a (career retention specialist) until it was time for me to re-enlist,” said Daneker. “Staff Sgt. Braxton was his name. He gave me the opportunity to do (independent duty) in Pennsylvania, and I decided to reenlist.”

Being able to work closer to home convinced him to give his country another four years.

It’s been full steam ahead ever since. Daneker has served in an array of billets and areas around the world including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq, among others.

Daneker leaves this part of his life behind feeling satisfied because of all he has accomplished.

“This was a large part of my life obviously, but I think it’s time for something new,” he said. “All great things come to an end. I am 100 percent content with how everything turned out and I love my family for supporting me through these rough years.”

Even though those years saw his family move from place to place frequently, they were always at his side. Daneker feels he couldn’t have done it without them.

“My family means the world to me,” said Daneker. “They are the most important influences on my life. If they weren’t aboard for this then I wouldn’t be here. They had to be with me so that I could have the strength to do the deployments and the duties, and now that I’ve finished 30 years I can see that they really were.”

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