Navy SEAL Petty Officer 2nd Second Class Danny P. Dietz, 25, from Aurora , Colo. , was killed by enemy forces during a reconnaissance mission June 28, 2005. He received the Navy Cross posthumously Sept. 13, 2006. U.S. Navy photo
Danny P. Dietz
For Services as Set Forth in the Following
Citation: For extraordinary heroism in actions against the enemy while serving in a four-man Special Reconnaissance element with SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team ONE, Naval Special Warfare Task unit, Afghanistan from 27 to 28 June 2005. Petty Officer Dietz demonstrated extraordinary heroism in the face of grave danger in the vicinity of Asadabad, Konar Province, Afghanistan. Operating in the middle of an enemy-controlled area, in extremely rugged terrain, his Special Reconnaissance element was tasked with locating a high-level Anti-Coalition Militia leader, in support of a follow-on direct action mission to disrupt enemy activity. On 28 June 2005, the element was spotted by Anti-Coalition Militia sympathizers, who immediately revealed their position to the militia fighters. As a result, the element directly encountered the enemy. Demonstrating exceptional resolve and fully understanding the gravity of the situation and his responsibility to his teammates, Petty Officer Dietz fought valiantly against the numerically superior and positionally advantaged enemy force. Remaining behind in a hailstorm of enemy fire, Petty Officer Dietz was wounded by enemy fire. Despite his injuries, he bravely fought on, valiantly defending his teammates and himself in a harrowing gunfight, until he was mortally wounded. By his undaunted courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and absolute devotion to his teammates, Petty Officer Dietz will long be remembered for the role he played in the Global War on Terrorism. Petty Officer Dietz' courageous and selfless heroism, exceptional professional skill, and utmost devotion to duty reflected great credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for the cause of freedom.
Petty Officer Danny P. Dietz, 25, of Littleton, Colorado, was part of a four-man team inserted behind enemy lines June 27, 2005, east of Asadabad, Afghanistan. Anti-coalition forces spotted them the following day and promptly alerted the militia forces. The SEALs fought valiantly. Three of the four SEALs were wounded and forced into a ravine, where they radioed for help. An MH-47 Chinook helicopter with eight more SEALs and eight Army troops aboard went to the rescue, but was hit with a rocket-propelled grenade and crashed, killing all aboard. Dietz and Axelson, though wounded, provided cover for their partner to escape. The teammate, whose name is being withheld to protect his identity, evaded the enemy for days before being rescued. He, too, received the Navy Cross at an earlier ceremony.
From the Rocky Mountain News:
The Coloradan's wife, Maria L. Dietz, said in a statement released at his SEAL base in Virginia Beach, Va., that he "was not just my husband, but he was my other half, my friend, my role model and my hero."
Recalling when her husband was deployed in April, she wrote, "The same day he left for Afghanistan, as tears rolled down my cheeks, he told me with sparkles in his eyes, 'All the training I have (undergone) for years is going to pay off with this trip, and I am going to do something special for this country and for my team.'
She wrote further that her husband "probably wouldn't have wanted to die any other way, but only trying to protect his fellow teammates and his country.
"I want the world to know that it has lost an incredible man, an outstanding Navy SEAL, and a hero," Dietz said. "People around the world don't hear much about the U.S. Naval Special Forces men and what they do for this country, but, as a proud SEAL team wife, I can tell that the world as a whole owes those men more than it can imagine."
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