Hero from the Heart of Virginia: Clifton Daniels

Clifton Daniels (WSET)

BEDFORD Co., Va. (WSET) -- Clifton Daniels is one of nine brothers to serve in the military. Some of them came home, while others didn't while serving in Bedford County's Company A.

Daniels said he remembers all of his siblings through paintings of them.

Daniels is one of 16 children; 11 of them boys, nine of which served in the military. "How often do you hear this many out of one family to be serving the military?" he said.

And, all in Company A, the same as the "Bedford Boys" during World War II.

It was in 1967, Daniels was soon to leave for the military, but "I got drafted but then my mother got sick with Alzheimer's," he said.

He said there was no one left to take care of the four youngest children so his oldest siblings went to the draft board and questioned that he be deferred or get in the National Guard. Thankfully, Daniels was able to get into the National Guard, but was back at home after six weeks of basic training in California.

"I could stay at home take care of the kids, feed them, cloth them, and whatever they need," he said. "I'm just so blessed that I could do it."

Daniels' older brothers were drafted; one already served in the Vietnam War. "He was just close to me that's why I wear this hat for him," he said.

Daniels' found out at work one morning that his brother wasn't coming home. "I was close to him and it was sad how it had to be him," he said.

He said he's proud to be from a family that was so devoted to serving their country. Daniels' father also served in the military as a naval officer and was in the attack on Pearl Harbor; another brother was classified as Missing in Action during the Korean War.

Four of the 16 siblings are still alive and living in Bedford County.

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