Dan Sidles High Ground
Sergeant Dan Sidles - Photo Courtesy of High Ground

On April 29, 2016 at approximately 5:30 P.M., Grand County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a Welfare Check at a residence in Parshall. The resident, 34 year old Dan Sidles, had not been seen or heard from in the past 2 days. Deputies found Sidles, deceased, inside of his apartment.

Sidles suffered from PTSD and was a highly decorated Marine Combat Veteran that had served in battles in and near Fallujah. Duane Dailey, The Veteran’s Assistance Coordinator for Grand County, and Grand County Sheriff’s Deputy Jesse Stradley had both been working with Sidles and been helping him cope with some of his service-related issues. When Sidles passed away, there was no family involvement in planning a memorial service for him and he had no known local friends.

Duane Daily and Jesse Stradley began planning a local memorial service to commemorate Sidles’ life and military service, and were contacted by Sidles’ sister in Iowa. His sister said she would like to come to Colorado to take part in the memorial service and take her brother’s remains home.

On Monday, May 2, Dailey, the Coroner’s Office, and the Sheriff’s Office began receiving calls from friends, and Marine Veterans who served with Sidles, from several states. By Monday afternoon, word of the small Memorial Service Dailey and Stradley had planned was spreading and a memorial page was posted on Facebook. By Tuesday, May 3, the number of people that were coming to the service had grown to a possible 40 to 50 people, with a possibility of more flying in from other states.

Sergeant Dan Sidles
Sergeant Dan Sidles – Courtesy Photo

The Sheriff’s Office and Dailey assisted several of Sidles’ close friends with travel arrangements and lodging to attend the service and assisted in coordinating a reception following the service.

The Daniel Sidles Memorial Service will be held at the Hot Sulphur Springs Cemetery on Thursday, May 5 at 1:00 P.M. with a reception for his sister and close friends following. This service is a tribute to a fallen Marine and his service to his country.

Special thanks to Duane Dailey and Jesse Stradley for initiating this memorial service without knowing the far reaching impact it would have on his military family and friends. Also, the Grand County Coroner’s Office, Mountain Beast MMA gym, the Granby Police Department, the Winter Park Pub, and everyone else who has helped organize this memorial service on very short notice.

For more information on Sidles’ life, see his Facebook Page or the memorial posting at Dan Sidles Memorial on Facebook.

Learn more about High Ground – The story of 11 Wounded Warriors, including Sergeant Dan Sidles, Climbing Home From War.

For any further questions, please contact me at (970) 531-1776.

Dan Sidles Service
Photo credit – Kim Cameron – Vietnam Vet, Jim Sloan pays his last respect to Dan Sidles during Thursday’s services. Grand County Veterans O cer, Duane Dailey looks on with other members of the Grand County Veteran’s Guard.
Mark Hill
Mark Hill, a former Park Ranger, plays the bagpipes at the funeral of war hero Dan Sidles. Hill played the Marine Core Hymn and Amazing Grace for the estimated 150 mourners who attended in respect of Sidles.