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- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Marine Gunnery Sgt. Daniel J. Price
Died July 29, 2012 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom
27, of Holland, Mich.; assigned to 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; died July 29 in Badghis province, Afghanistan, while conducting combat operations. Also killed was Marine Gunnery Sgt. Jonathan W. Gifford, 34, of Palm Bay, Fla.
Decorated MARSOC gunnies killed in Afghanistan
By Andrew deGrandpre - Marine Corps Times staff writer
Two elite special operations Marines were killed in combat Sunday in northwestern Afghanistan.
Gunnery Sgt. Daniel J. Price, 27, of Holland, Mich., and Gunnery Sgt. Jonathan W. Gifford, 34, of Palm Bay, Fla., died during a morning patrol in Badghis province, a Marine official told Marine Corps Times on Monday.
Both were critical skills operators assigned to Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command. Price belonged to 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion out Camp Pendleton, Calif. Gifford was from 2nd MSOB out of Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Although they came from separate commands within MARSOC, Price and Gifford were assigned to the same special operations task force in Afghanistan, the Marine official said.
A Purple Heart recipient, Price experienced ample combat over the last several years. He deployed three times each in support of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a Marine Corps news release.
On Nov. 10, the Marine Corps’ birthday, Price was awarded a Bronze Star with “V” device for his actions during a 2009, battle in Afghanistan’s Farah province. When the remote weapon on his vehicle was destroyed, he climbed on top to man its MK19 grenade launcher, according to his medal citation. As enemy rounds whipped by, Price stayed put — holding his position for four hours and killing “numerous” insurgents in the process.
Price enlisted in 2003 and attended the Marine Corps’ Basic Reconnaissance Course a year later, according to the Marine Corps’ news release. He was a member of Camp Pendleton’s 1st Recon Battalion before joining MAROC in 2008.
Gifford was just shy of 15 years in the service. A member of the Corps’ force reconnaissance community prior to joining MARSOC, he also completed multiple combat deployments and earned a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with combat “V,” the Marine official said.
It’s not immediately clear how Price and Gifford died. Parts of Badghis province, which borders Turkmenistan, have been marked by violence for the past several years, according to a report published late last year by the Naval Postgraduate School.
Sgt. Justin M. Hansen, also a member of 2nd MSOB, was shot and killed during a house sweep in Badghis province only one week ago. He was on his second deployment to Afghanistan.
Remains of West Michigan Marine return to Holland
The Associated Press
HOLLAND, Mich. — Hundreds of people have turned out to honor the memory of a western Michigan Marine as his remains came home.
Twenty-seven-year-old Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Price was killed in combat in Afghanistan on July 29. His body arrived Wednesday at Holland airport, and a motorcade delivered it to Langeland-Sterenberg Funeral Homes.
The Holland Sentinel says some onlookers stood silently with hands behind their backs, while others quietly cried as family and friends walked onto the runway to receive Price's body.
Seventy motorcyclists helped escort the body to the funeral home, where visitation is 5-8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday from 1-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m.
The funeral is at 10 a.m. Saturday at Central Wesleyan Church in Holland, with burial at Pilgrim Home Cemetery of Holland.
Snyder orders U.S. flags lowered in honor of Marine
The Associated Press
ZEELAND, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder has ordered U.S. flags lowered to half-staff Monday in honor of a Marine from West Michigan who was killed in Afghanistan.
Snyder issued the order Thursday for 27-year-old Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Price of Zeeland, who was killed in combat in Badghis province on July 29. His funeral is Saturday in Holland.
Snyder said in a statement that Price "has left an outstanding legacy of compassion and service" for people across Michigan to remember.
Price was assigned to 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion at Camp Pendleton, Calif. The governor's office said Price joined the Marines in 2003 after graduating from high school. Price served three tours of duty in Iraq, where he was promoted to sergeant, and three tours in Afghanistan.
Marine remembered as hero, loving husband
The Associated Press
HOLLAND, Mich. — Hundreds of mourners gathered Saturday to remember a Marine from western Michigan who was killed during combat in Afghanistan as a brave, devout Christian who also was a family man.
Family, friends and military personnel were among those who spoke of 27-year-old Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Price's courage and faith during a memorial service at Central Wesleyan Church in Holland. Price was one of two Marines who died July 29 in Badghis province. He joined the Marines in 2003 and was on his sixth tour.
His wife, Rachel, thanked the community for lining the streets before the service, many waving American flags and carrying banners honoring the troops, according to MLive.com. She said she was honored to call Price her husband and read a passage from his Bible that had been marked by him when she received it.
A scripture passage at the front of the memorial packet read: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the good faith." But Price's wife said it should read: "Dan has fought the good fight, Dan has finished the race, Dan has kept the good faith."
Fellow Marines also spoke during the service, remembering Price as a man who always went above and beyond and never complained about anything, except "the bad guys." They said if a soldier was having trouble carrying his backpack during training, Price would be the one to offer assistance.
Price received a Bronze Star and Purple Heart during his time with the military, but many said it was his dedicated and persistent attitude and willingness to stick his neck out for other Marines during battle that set him apart.
One of Price's unit leaders said the fallen Marine had saved his life twice overseas. Another described Price as the man everyone hoped to work with during peer evaluations.
Marines attending the funeral referred to Price as a friend, hero and "ultimate warrior."
At the end of the service, Price's casket was carried out by fellow Marines. A burial was scheduled at Pilgrim Home Cemetery of Holland.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked for donations to be sent to the Wounded Warrior Project.