Marine killed by IED after agreeing to extend tour.
By: Eric Mansfield
PERRY TOWNSHIP -- Sgt. Dan Patron could have returned from Afghanistan last month, but instead he decided to stay a few more months with his Marine unit. He died Saturday while defusing a roadside bomb.
Patron, 26, is a 2003 graduate of Perry High School where he sang in the choir and was president of the Perry Players, his mother said.
"He was always smiling," Kathy Patron recalled. "He could have come home from the Marine Corps in July because his eight years was up, but he kept saying 'I had to do it' and stayed another few months to help his unit."
Kathy Patron said her son's new return date was set for November and he was looking forward to starting a family with his wife, Cody.
"He wanted to be a dad and already had his kids' names picked out," Kathy said.
Dan Patron was an expert in EOD explosives and was killed while defusing a roadside bomb in Sangin, Afghanistan, Kathy said. His death is unrelated to the loss of 31 American service members who were killed a few hours later when their helicopter was shot down.
Dan was the youngest of Kathy's two sons and joined the Marines right after graduation.
Funeral arrangements are pending.