Thomas Fincher McDaniel, III
Our Tommy was born 7-22-1996 at Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando. He loved being from Central Florida, specifically Deltona and DeLand. Tommy accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior at 4 years old. As a young boy he loved school buses and dinosaurs. At 5 years old Tommy went to an Airshow at Jacksonville Naval Air Station where he met his great love – The Marines. Several Marines were in attendance and allowed Tommy to put on some of their gear. A Marine was born. More growing up to do - Tommy attended St. Barnabas Episcopal School in Deland and went on to graduate from DeLand High however his focus remained true from that life changing moment at 5 years old and nothing was going to get in his way. A life of service as a Marine, protecting our country and those who needed protecting, was Tommy’s clear passion and our family encouraged him to follow it. Tommy always protected those who needed protecting and he did not like bullies. Tommy needed parental permission to join at seventeen so we, understanding this was his purpose and path, signed the papers. Six months from enlisting Tommy needed his wisdom teeth removed. He did the procedure without pain meds or anesthesia to not jeopardize the drug test he would soon have to take for enlisting. Nothing was going to get in his way. At 17, Tommy was sent to Parris Island for boot camp and completed all requirements in the expected time. He was in the top three considered “expert marksman’s” of his class and in his spirit of service was proud to be a part of the Marine’s humanitarian relief to Haiti after Hurricane Matthew. Tommy was part of the Inherent Resolve Campaign where he suffered combat related injuries. Honorably discharged as a result of his injuries, Tommy returned home to Deland where he would do anything for his friends, family and even those he didn’t know. Tommy acquired a dog, Miller, and they were constant companions and he helped Tommy adjust to civilian life. One of Tommy’s close friends will provide a forever home for Miller. True to Tommy form, as his life albeit far too short ends, he is giving life to several families as an organ donor. The pain is great, our hearts are breaking. But we know Tommy is with our Lord today and we know the world is a better place as a result of his life.
We love you Tommy, and we will miss you dearly.
Mom, Dad and Sarah
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Semper Fi & America’s Fund. For our combat wounded, ill and injured. https://semperfifund.org/donate/.