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Conversing with a Tough US Marine Stationed in Afghanistan.

EFS talks with a hard-working young man who has committed himself

to helping protect America.

-Article from July 3, 2011

A friendly Afghan civilian

Honoring Our Soldiers

Jul. 3, 2011

Featured in the photo here is Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel Franke, a dog handler attached to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 2, and his dog. Here they are keeping watch during an operation in Towrah Ghundey, Afghanistan on June 11th, 2010.
American Hero’s 
In light of recent events in the news (i.e. the reported death of Osama Bin Ladin), and the concurrent visitation of Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel Franke to our training center (for his workout program), we see it fitting to recognize, honor and thank the military soldiers who train hard and sacrifice so much for America.

It is soldiers like Daniel who deserve our gratitude for risking so much for their fellow citizens, whether at home or across the world. 

By default, many of us think of heros as being professional ball players, or movie stars.  At EFS, though we train athletes (and some to play at an elite level), soldiers like Daniel Franke get our nomination as being some of the top heros of our country. 

National Champs 
We first were introduced to Daniel in 2002 when he was 14 (a year after 9/11/01). He was playing football for Cambrian Valley Pop-Warner under Head Coach Steve Norris (a local Police Officer in Campbell). Steve arranged a program with EFS to  train a core nucleus of team leaders, and eventually the entire team.  Coach Norris was trying to instill in these players hard work, and a good attitude in hopes that it would help them on the field and in life. We were happy to be part of their training, development and success. Coach Norris’ efforts paid off and the Cambrian Valley Longhorns went on win the Pop-Warner National Championship. Daniel went on to be a skilled wrestler and the starting fullback for the Leigh High School football team, where he continued to train with EFS. 

Patriotic, Humble and Hard Working
A very Patriotic and rugged young man, Daniel had his parents sign for him to join the Marines his senior year of high school. When he graduated he was off to boot camp, and is now stationed in Afghanistan. Each time he is in town he visits EFS to train (usually for a few weeks at a time), and we love to ask him questions. However, he is short on answers due to his humility and he has also mentioned his restrictions regarding sharing sensitive information. 
There is a natural intrigue that causes us to revere and respect soldiers (in what they face: battle, sacrifice, dedication & hard-work, etc...) Daniel comes across as serious and realistic about his job. You can tell he is physically and mentally tough & resilient. He is the kind of guy you would want at your flank if all heck broke loose. The following is a recent exchange we had:

EFS: “What is your specialty in the Marines?”

Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel Franke: “I’m a dog handler. My dog is a German Shepherd who helps us detect mines, bombs, etc... She’s a great dog.”

EFS: “Have you ever been in a firefight?”

Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel Franke: “Yes.”

EFS: “How was the intensity and adrenaline surge compared to say... football or sports?”

Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel Franke: “Oh, you wouldn't believe what its like... We are restricted with what we’re able to disclose though.”
(At this point Daniel looks very serious and doesn’t elaborate.)

EFS: “What do you think of the recent news of Osama Bin Ladin’s Death?”

Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel Franke: “Its great news!... Very exciting.”

EFS: “Thank you for your service and God bless you.”

We look forward to seeing Daniel when he is back again next time. 
As usual, he will never pay to train at EFS.  
Its the least we can do for our American heros and soldiers like Daniel Franke, 
who do what they do, so we can keep doing the things we do. 

We are proud of you Daniel.  Keep up the good work!-  EFS.n

“Man’s Best Friend”,

in peace and war.

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EFS News Update

Update: Local EFS Athlete & Soldier Wounded in Afghanistan 

Nov. 17, 2011

Last July, we wrote an article about the humble and hardworking Marine Lance Corporal Daniel Franke.

I am saddened to report the news that Daniel recently suffered a major battle wound. On October 2nd, Daniel was on patrol with his platoon in the most dangerous part of Afghanistan, which is referred to as Sangin (see video). If you look up this area you will see that it is one of the most dangerous places for a soldier to be (in the world).

The lead man was a mine sweeper, and Daniel was with his German Shepard, a bomb and drug sniffing canine. After the path was cleared, Daniel, his Shepard and Fellow Marines began to march deeper into this treacherous territory. His dog, who was tied to him pulled a little too hard and he was forced off the narrowly marked path. Daniel was hit by a mine (IED). The news is not good, but sometimes blessings can take place even in bad situations. To Daniel's fortune the mine only detonated at 20 percent of its intended explosiveness. 

Daniel's foot was severely mangled and he quickly began to experience 
major pain. After his medic gave him morphine, Daniel still did not have relief.
They called in the "bird" (helicopter) to evacuate him as fast as possible.
As soon as he was pulled into the copter, they began to take on enemy fire 
at the under belly of the aircraft. This setup tactic by the Taliban threatened 
the situation even more. Daniel could hear the bullets ricochet off of the 
helicopter. It was out of his hands at this time.

Daniel woke up next in a military hospital in Afghanistan. Thankfully he and 
his fellow Marines made it out alive that day. He was next transported 
to Germany and eventually back to the "great USA", as he called it.

Daniel underwent extensive medical attempts to save his foot. Much of the 
tissue was missing, and infection began to set in. The cleanings became 
excruciating. Daniel was given 2 days to decide what to do about his foot, 
as the infection was spreading upward.

On October 20th he and the medical staff made the decision to amputate his 
lower left leg: from the mid-calf downward. He is on much pain medication, 
and will be fitted for a number of prosthetics over the next few months.

Daniel emailed me the news in his usual humble fashion, and just thought I'd 
want to know because I was his "long time trainer, mentor and friend." 
All he said he wanted was to maybe go to lunch.

I would like to do more, and set up a temporary EFS Daniel Franke fund.

After serving two tours of duty Daniel will be trying to assimilate back into society from a highly stressful and difficult environment. However, this time he will also be doing so as a wounded veteran.

With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming I believe he and his family could use a boost. One of the things I would like to do is raise funds for he and his parents. 

Like we have in the past, we will donate any training (post therapy, fitness, etc...) or gym access that he needs.

Daniel is a product of the local sports community . He played on a national championship pop-warner football team (Cambrian Valley), went to Leigh high school (a starting FB player and wrestler). Lastly, the tough son of a gun joined the Marines right out of high school. 
My suspicion, is that he was a darn good soldier. His unique combination of toughness, commitment and humility is a rare find.

If you feel your heart is leading you and you are able, please help this humble young man, local athlete, soldier, son, and brother assimilate back from war this holiday season. We have set up a PayPal donation button for those who would be willing to give to the EFS Daniel Frankie Fund. All (100 percent) of any funds donated will go directly to Daniel Franke to help us cover expenses he or his parents may need help with in getting him fully assimilated and back up to speed.

I write this on behalf of myself and the entire EFS staff, who are all very proud of Daniel and are thankful he is alive and will be coming home after being in the “most dangerous place on earth”.

Thank you for your consideration and take good care.


Chris Morton
Founder, EFS n

Donate to The EFS Daniel Franke Fund.

100 percent of funds donated will go directly to Daniel Franke and his parents.

EFS Honors Former EFS Athlete and US Marine, Daniel Franke

Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel Franke

Chris Morton and Daniel Franke

Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel Franke’s German Shepherd