Varnado Remembered As A Hero On Two Battlefields - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

06/03/05

Varnado Remembered As A Hero On Two Battlefields

An honor guard marched toward the hearse. When it reached the automobile, the order, "Present arms" echoed across the National Cemetery. Uniformed soldiers raised their right hands and saluted the flag draped casket.

Watching all of this take place was Varnado's former baseball teammate Dale Young.

"To know Danny, you have to know his passion," he said. "You just look him in his eyes and you saw his desire to be the best at everything he did."

Sgt. Danny Varnado was 23 years old. He had a wife, a son, and a wide assortment of friends. And they all wiped away tears as they thought about the soldier America lost on May 23, and the friend they lost forever.

"It didn't matter if it was cards or baseball or just loving his friends and his family. Whatever he did, he wanted to be number one," Young said.

His closest friend at the service may have been Joshua Cole.

"He hated when bad stuff happened to me," Cole remembered. "He hated when bad things happened to me. And now, the ultimate sacrifice is paid. And I feel that I wasn't able to be there for him. But I know he's in a better place."

On a sun baked afternoon in Biloxi, Varnado's pastor noted the scene around the National Cemetery.

"What an incredible tribute," the Rev. Lowery Anderson said.

It was ideal South Mississippi baseball weather. Fitting, because Varnado was an accomplished player at Harrison Central and Gulf Coast Community College. In fact, toward the end of the service, his wife asked teammates to place gloves next to the soldier's casket.

"To me it meant everything because watching Danny play was watching magic," remembered Young. "He made everyone a better person around him."

The military posthumously promoted the 155th soldier from specialist to Sergeant. It also awarded the Varnado family three medals in his memory -- the bronze star, the purple heart, and the Mississippi Medal for Valor.

by Brad Kessie

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Now: Traffic returns to normal on I-10 near Ocean Springs

    Now: Traffic returns to normal on I-10 near Ocean Springs

    Thursday, August 17 2017 9:11 AM EDT2017-08-17 13:11:44 GMT
    This is the scene on I-10 after a multi-vehicle wrec (Photo Source: MDOT)This is the scene on I-10 after a multi-vehicle wrec (Photo Source: MDOT)

    All lanes of Highway 90 are now open. A Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesman says an 18-wheeler crossed the median on Interstate 10 Thursday morning, causing a deadly series of accidents. It was just before 6:00 a.m. That truck was heading west near the Ocean Springs exit. Suddenly, it veered left, crossed the median and smashed into a motorcycle on the eastbound side of I-10. The MHP spokesman says that motorcycle driver died at the scene.

    More >>

    All lanes of Highway 90 are now open. A Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesman says an 18-wheeler crossed the median on Interstate 10 Thursday morning, causing a deadly series of accidents. It was just before 6:00 a.m. That truck was heading west near the Ocean Springs exit. Suddenly, it veered left, crossed the median and smashed into a motorcycle on the eastbound side of I-10. The MHP spokesman says that motorcycle driver died at the scene.

    More >>
  • Dangerous heat could lead to heat related illness

    Dangerous heat could lead to heat related illness

    Thursday, August 17 2017 8:03 AM EDT2017-08-17 12:03:27 GMT
    Dangerous heat expected across the Mississippi Gulf Coast on ThursdayDangerous heat expected across the Mississippi Gulf Coast on Thursday

    Thursday forecast temperatures are in the low to mid 90s. Not too unusual. But, the heat index will rise to dangerous levels for the first time this summer.

    More >>

    Thursday forecast temperatures are in the low to mid 90s. Not too unusual. But, the heat index will rise to dangerous levels for the first time this summer.

    More >>
  • WLOX Editorial: Louisiana flood solution, not a good deal for South Mississippi

    WLOX Editorial: Louisiana flood solution, not a good deal for South Mississippi

    Wednesday, August 16 2017 4:29 PM EDT2017-08-16 20:29:52 GMT

    We are not strangers to flooding on the Mississippi Coast. Nor are our neighbors to the west in Louisiana. There are forever ongoing efforts, planning and discussions about how to mitigate flooding. But a recent study by the Rand Corporation is more than a little disturbing.

    More >>

    We are not strangers to flooding on the Mississippi Coast. Nor are our neighbors to the west in Louisiana. There are forever ongoing efforts, planning and discussions about how to mitigate flooding. But a recent study by the Rand Corporation is more than a little disturbing.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly