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The Suburbanite
  • Lake grad investigating Boston Marathon bombings

  • Dan Aranyosi, a 1998 Lake High School graduate, is one of a number of FBI agents who have been called in to help protect an entire city in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. While he has extensive training in a number of areas, Dan is specially trained to handle explosive devices.

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  • Right now, Boston feels an awful lot like home to Ernie and Fran Aranyosi; Their hearts are there.
    Because their son is there.
    Dan Aranyosi, a 1998 Lake High School graduate, is one of a number of FBI agents who have been called in to help protect an entire city in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. While he has extensive training in a number of areas, Dan is specially trained to handle explosive devices.
    “I’m not surprised he went into law enforcement,” Fran Aranyosi said of her son’s work. “He didn’t grow up saying he wanted to be a policeman … but he was always one to be on the edge of excitement. When he was little, he would tear things apart just to see how they were made.”
    As an adult, Dan is paid to exercise that natural curiosity.
    When he first arrived in Massachusetts, he put his special training and curiosity to use. He was one of the technicians who sifted through the rubble at the Boston Marathon finish line, where two pressure cooker bombs exploded Monday afternoon, killing three and injuring more than 175 others.
    Late Thursday night, Dan’s role in the investigation changed.
    The bombing suspects – brothers Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev – robbed a convenience store, shot and killed an MIT campus security officer, hijacked a vehicle and led police on a chase before engaging authorities in a shoot-out and throwing homemade bombs onto Boston streets.
    Ernie and Fran Aranyosi learned of the situation early Friday morning when they woke and turned on the news. Immediately, their thoughts went to their son.
    Fortunately, he thought of them, too.
    Shortly after 2 a.m., Dan texted his parents to let them know he was safe.
    “We had received a real brief text from him,” Ernie said. “He just texted, ‘I’m OK. Busy working. Love you.”
    “As a parent, you never want your children in harm’s way,” Fran said. “I know this is his job and he is trained very well for his job. … If I could, I would be talking with him on the phone every five minutes to make sure he is safe. But I was touched this morning when I woke and saw the text from him.”
    Both parents were unsure what role their son was playing in the investigations and manhunt Friday, but they both knew he was in his element.
    “He tells us that 99 percent of the time his job is boring,” said Ernie, who is photographer for The Surburbanite. “He hates filing paperwork and being in the office. Something like this, I know he’s eating it up.”
    While Dan may have been in his element, his parents were doing their best to remember that. They were doing their best to take in the devloping news with the understanding that their son has been trained to deal with the most difficult of situations.
    Page 2 of 2 - “He’s a smart kid,” Ernie said. “He is not the little boy he used to be; He has more sense about him now. But when something like this happens and you have a son or daughter involved, you can’t help but worry.”
    Ernie knows that his son is safe. He knows that Dan has the strength and training to keep him safe, even as he works to protect hundreds of thousands of Bostonians.
    But Ernie, like his wife, can’t help but be a little nervous, too.
    “This is the first time we have been on edge about it (Dan’s job),” Ernie said. “… You remember (your children) as toddlers and little kids and it’s hard to believe they aren’t little kids anymore. He has a very important job and you wonder: How is it possible that my little kid is carrying a gun and working with explosive devices?”