Mother, wife mourn slain soldier

By Lori Brown - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The wife and mother of a Memphis soldier killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan are remembering their hero.

Pam Finnie, the soldier's mother, recently returned home from seeing her son's body return to the United States in Delaware.

Staff Sergeant Daniel Merriweather, 25, died doing what wanted to do since he was a child, protect and serve his country.

Finnie said her son's death was instant.

"They were the lead truck for the convoy, as they were going out they hit the IED," Finnie said.  "It was an instant impact, and I was told he didn't suffer at all."

Finnie also said that Merriweather was not optimistic about his tour of duty in Afghanistan.

"He told me that it was bad, it was different, and he didn't think he would make it back," Finnie said.  "I believe he knew what was going to happen, and he didn't mind giving himself for us."

Merriweather, the father of three-year-old Kale, just became a father to Daniel Merriweather Jr. two and a half months ago.  He got to be with his wife at Ft. Bragg in North Carolina when their son was born.

It was the last time Specialist Rachelle Merriweather saw her husband in person.  But she did talk to him by webcam Tuesday, the day before he died.

Merriweather said the last thing she spoke about with her husband was a package she had sent him.

"I told him, 'Daniel, did you get your box?'  He said, 'oh, I didn't get it yet, because I'm in a different place and I have to go a little ways to get it now'," Merriweather said.  "That's about the last thing we talked about."

Finnie is confident that her son is enjoying himself in heaven.

"He's probably asking God, where is my cowboy hat, my belt buckle, his jeans, his boots?" Finnie said.  "And where is the country music?"

This was Merriweather's third tour of duty in Afghanistan.  He also served in Iraq.

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