Memorial Day 2019
Petty Officer 2ndClass Danny Dietz, Jr. is one of Colorado’s best-known war heroes. Born in 1980, he joined the Navy in August 1999 just four months after the murders at Columbine High School. Possessing a genius IQ, he went on to enroll in SEAL training and was eventually sent to Afghanistan where he died defending his compatriots in a pitched battle with the Taliban in late-June 2005. The citation accompanying his Navy Cross reads,
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Gunners Mate Second Class Danny Phillip Dietz, United States Navy, 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.
To Danny, his fellow veterans of all generations, and the friends and family that love them all, we express our admiration and gratitude this Memorial Day 2019. We are inspired by your sacrifice, and forever in your debt.