A Son and a Soldier

Veterans Park hosts a tribute to a fallen infantryman from Coconut Creek

Beth Becker-Agami and her son, Daniel, were as close as a mother and son could be. He called her almost every day, or they used Skype. Daniel would email her and send her videos he made.

It meant more to her because the communications were from almost 7,000 miles away in a distant land that Beth says she couldn’t even imagine.

“There were times when he would call me and he’d say, ‘I’m on a rooftop and there are bullets flying over me,’ ” Beth says.

When the Department of Defense announced Daniel’s death in Iraq, it was formal—quite the opposite of the happy-go-lucky guy who loved music and deejayed at parties and clubs in Coconut Creek: “On June 21, 2007, Army Spc. Daniel Agami, 25, of Coconut Creek, assigned to the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, died when an improvised explosive device went off near his vehicle.”

Daniel was 22 when he decided to join the Army. “I think it probably had to be his calling,” Beth says. “He was already an adult when he made his decision. It’s not like he was a kid; he had years to think about this, and we supported him 100 percent. He was extremely proud to take on his role, and he did a very good job.”

During the almost three years before he was killed in action, Daniel earned a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star and an Army Commendation Medal.

The family wasn’t surprised when Daniel announced he was enlisting. Beth says the attacks of Sept. 11 really affected him. “That’s maybe what triggered him to seriously start thinking about it,” Beth says. Growing up in Coconut Creek, he was in Boy Scouts and Police Explorers. “He always wanted to be of service,” she says. His father, Itzhak, served in the Israeli army.

Since his death, Beth says the sting doesn’t go away. “It’s really out of order, and not normal” when a parent loses a child. But the way people pay tribute to her son has made a difference. “I get random letters and cards in the mail from people we don’t even know. We’ve received giant quilts and paintings. I just can’t get over it sometimes,” Beth says.

In 2009, U.S. Rep. Ron Klein, of Boca Raton, wrote and passed legislation to name the Coconut Creek post office, located at 4233 W. Hillsboro Blvd., after Agami.

“People to this day don’t forget the sacrifice that he made for our freedom,” Beth says. “That is very comforting, that he did not die in vain.”

Daniel’s parents, his brother Ilan and sister Shaina will lead a 10-year anniversary memorial June 25 at 11 a.m., at Veterans Park, 3550 Lyons Road, followed by a procession to Bru’s Room at 5460 W. Hillsboro Blvd. Proceeds and donations benefit Mission United-Broward County, which helps veterans reacclimate to civilian life. It is open to the public.

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