With wars on two fronts in Afghanistan and Iraq, he and the family knew there was a possibility he would be called to serve.
Sure enough, just this week he learned he would be deployed to Afghanistan this summer. There are a lot of details we don't know. All we know for sure is that he's been told he's going.
All of which makes me thankful we had a chance to visit Joni's family in western Washington over Christmas. It might be awhile before we see Danny at Christmas time again.
Our prayers for safety go with him this summer.
At the same time, Danny's deployment has got me to thinking about how shielded Joni's family and mine have been from war over the past several years.
In my family, it's been nearly 60 years since anyone served in a conflict. That would be my Uncle Lowell, who served in Korea. Prior to him, I had one grandfather serve in World War I and another in World War II.
In Joni's family there has been a similar period of several decades without someone serving in harm's way.
It wasn't planned that way, just the timing of our family trees, I guess.
So now we are a family at war, not with each other mind you, but now even more keenly aware of the situation in Afghanistan.
It's a personal war now.
All of this makes me even more thankful for those of you with sons, daughters, husbands and wives serving in war time. You, much better than I, know this feeling.
When I heard the news on Monday that Danny was to be deployed, I flashed back to the young tyke I remembered. I remembered the chess matches he and I played during one family holiday gathering.
I remember he was a good chess player as a young boy. Now my prayer for him as a man is that he'll be a good - and safe - soldier.