Freedomroo – Victoria Cross war hero finds new love after revealing in ‘Courage Under Fire’ book personal toll

Daniel Keighran, who received the Victoria Cross after serving in the Middle East, popped the question to Casey Nixon at the Magic Millions Raceday, on the Gold Coast, in January

A war hero who revealed his bravery overseas cost him his first marriage has found new love and proposed to his girlfriend. 

Daniel Keighran, who received the Victoria Cross after serving in the Middle East, popped the question to Casey Nixon at the Magic Millions Raceday, on the Gold Coast, in January.

The pair met in late 2019, moved in together in March 2020 and will tie the knot at Summergrove Estate, in the Tweed Hinterland, later this year.

It will be the second time Mr Keighran is marrying, after his first relationship fell apart from burnout in the military.

Daniel Keighran, who received the Victoria Cross after serving in the Middle East, popped the question to Casey Nixon at the Magic Millions Raceday, on the Gold Coast, in January

Mr Keighran then asked his mother-in-law to take a photo of the couple before he bent down on one knee

Mr Keighran then asked his mother-in-law to take a photo of the couple before he bent down on one knee

Mr Keighran's fight against the Taliban took him around the world, including East Timor, Malaysia, Iraq and Afghanistan

Mr Keighran’s fight against the Taliban took him around the world, including East Timor, Malaysia, Iraq and Afghanistan

His new fiancee Ms Nixon says she had no idea her soon-to-be husband would pop the question.

The pair had gone to the race day to watch Ms Nixon’s horse racehorse compete on the track.

Mr Keighran then asked his mother-in-law to take a photo of the couple before he bent down on one knee.

‘Initially this caught me by surprise because Dan never asks for photos,’ Ms Nixon told Gold Coast Bulletin.

‘As I was getting ready for the picture, Dan dropped to one knee next to me and pulled out the most beautiful ring I have ever seen. It was perfect. I don’t think he got the words out because I started crying.’

Mr Keighran released his book ‘Courage Under Fire’ in 2020 where he detailed the highs and lows of a military career and the toll it took on his personal life.

His fight against the Taliban took him around the world, including East Timor, Malaysia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

His platoon came under heavy fire in 2010 and two years later Mr Keighran would receive a call from the military that his act of bravery had earned him a nomination for a Victoria Cross.  

At the time, Mr Keighran was engaged to his first wife Kathryn. The pair had met in 2007, and Mr Keighran was desperately seeking time off to spend with his partner.

Though the army refused and Mr Keighran put in for discharge, before he was finally allowed to leave by mid-2011.

Mr Keighran accepted the Victoria Cross a year later, despite his reservations that he didn’t deserve the medal.

Mr Keighran released his book 'Courage Under Fire' in 2020 where he detailed the highs and lows of a military career and the toll it took on his personal life

Mr Keighran released his book ‘Courage Under Fire’ in 2020 where he detailed the highs and lows of a military career and the toll it took on his personal life

His new fiancee Ms Nixon says she had no idea her soon-to-be husband would pop the question

His new fiancee Ms Nixon says she had no idea her soon-to-be husband would pop the question

‘I still don’t think I do,’ he writes in the book. ‘Even now, I don’t, no, not at all. I honestly should have been killed for what I did.’ 

He would later suffer burnout from the subsequent media touring, endless formal engagements, speaking tours and his itinerant job with Australian Defence Apparel. 

His marriage suffered because of it and Mr Keighran and Kathryn divorced in 2019.

The war hero admitted in the book he has come a long way since that time. 

‘I’ve come out of that now; things have fallen into place that hadn’t when I was at the end of writing,’ he wrote.

‘I’ve finished uni, I’ve got a professional career, I’m in a new relationship. I wouldn’t have had those things without having the VC.’ 

The war hero admitted in the book he has come a long way since that time, finding new love with Ms Nixon

The war hero admitted in the book he has come a long way since that time, finding new love with Ms Nixon

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