By Debbie Gregory.
In the years since Marine Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Price was killed in heavy fighting in Afghanistan, his exploits have lived on through his mother’s writing.
“There was a Gold Star father that told us shortly after Dan was killed that we are the voices of our dead sons, and if we don’t tell their stories, their stories won’t be told,” said Ruth Price. She penned “No Stray Bullets: The Making of an American Hero,” about her son’s short, but remarkable life.
Dan Price was the best of what America has to offer: a hardworking and fun-loving Midwestern boy formed by faith, family, and farm—in that order. As a United States Marine, he served as an elite special-forces operator, a MARSOC Raider, recognized by his peers as one of the finest they had ever seen.
Price went from the fields and barns of Michigan to fierce battles in the cities of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan. Along the way, he developed world-class physical, mental, and operational skills without ever losing the faith and values that were the source of his strength.
“Dan was such an awesome guy, and I’m his mom, so I really just wanted to use specific incidents to bring out his personality so that other people could get that for themselves, just get a little bit of who Dan was and what we lost,” said the Gold Star mom.
The book, which took six years to write, starts off with the operation that killed Price and fellow Gunnery Sgt. Jonathan Gifford, and their exploits with Special Operations Task Force West, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force Afghanistan.
Price was helpful and determined, with a strong work ethic that served him in his military career. He joined Marine special operations in 2008. He deployed six times and was awarded the Bronze Star with “V” device for valor in 2009 for saving 15 Marines and a handful of Afghans after they walked into an ambush.
Ruth also focused on stories that told who her son was, like the time he took a Marine’s 80-pound pack on top of his own during a hike at the Basic Reconnaissance Course after the Marine collapsed.
On April 23, 2012, Price deployed to Herat, Afghanistan. When Gifford’s team took several casualties, Price volunteered to take a spot. Both men were killed on the July 29 mission.
In “No Stray Bullets,” Ruth Price told the story of a life well-lived, her son’s. She was intent on revealing the man behind the uniform, flaws and all.
“It’s the story of our son,” she said. “In my opinion, he’s an American military hero who needs to be remembered; his story needs to be told. The book is available on Amazon. A portion of the proceeds are being donated to the Marine Raider Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps active duty and medically retired Marine Raiders and their families.