Schofield soldier killed in Iraq attack

 Daniel Hyde had it all: the talent to be a three-sport athlete in high school, the smarts to be on two academic honor societies and a humble confidence that made him a born leader, relatives said.

The Modesto, Calif., man was accepted by all three military academies and graduated from West Point 23rd out of 968 before getting his Ranger tab and airborne qualification.

The arc of 1st Lt. Daniel B. Hyde’s success was cut short on Saturday when the Schofield Barracks soldier’s military vehicle was hit by two rocket propelled grenades in Tikrit, Iraq, according to family.

Hyde, 24, died in Samarra. At least two other soldiers were wounded but are expected to be well enough to attend a memorial service for Hyde in Iraq on Thursday, said his father, Brian.

“Almost everyone loved him just because of his personality,” said Brian Hyde, 49. “He was just a really humble individual and very friendly and very eager to help other people.”

Daniel Hyde was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry. He is the third soldier out of 3,500 with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team to be killed on the year-long deployment to northern Iraq that began in October and November.

While violence is down across Iraq, the country remains a deadly place for U.S. forces.

Brian Hyde said his son wasn’t killed in a Humvee. Army officials described it as being like an “armored minivan,” he said. The Army showed up at the Hyde family’s home on Saturday evening.

“We’re very strong Christians — we completely know where Daniel is and that gives us a tremendous amount of support,” Brian Hyde said by phone.

But the soldier’s aunt, Cheryl Schmidt, said she wasn’t at all prepared for the news.

“I’m having a really hard time,” she said. “I was always told he was really safe.”

Brian Hyde said his son described northern Iraq as being “pretty quiet.”

The soldiers worked long, hard days trying to turn over operations to Iraqi security forces — something that frustrated Daniel because it put Schofield soldiers “in the position of having to really go against what they wanted to do, and just kind of have to back off and let the Iraqis run it,” Brian Hyde said. “That was difficult for them.”

Daniel Hyde played basketball, golf and football in high school, and in the latter sport was quarterback and later a wide receiver.

He also was smart, majoring in civil engineering at West Point, but the trait that set him apart was the fact “he had a work ethic that just would not quit,” Brian Hyde said.

Because he did so well at West Point, Daniel Hyde got his pick of duty stations and he selected Hawai’i because it was closer in climate to California than upstate New York, where he went to college.

He was assigned to Schofield in July, and left for Iraq several months later.

“He felt there were things that needed to be done in the times we were in, and he just very confidently felt like he was one that needed to step up and take the reins,” Brian Hyde said of his son’s Army service.