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MARSOC gunnery sergeant to receive posthumous Silver Star

Jul. 28, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Price, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2012 while with MARSOC, was awarded the Silver Star on July 29. Price is credited with braving enemy fire to reinforce a team of Afghan commandos during battle two years prior.
Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Price, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2012 while with MARSOC, was awarded the Silver Star on July 29. Price is credited with braving enemy fire to reinforce a team of Afghan commandos during battle two years prior. (Marine Corps)
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A MARSOC gunnery sergeant who was killed while fighting insurgents in Afghanistan, will be awarded the military’s third-highest award for valor on Tuesday, MARSOC officials announced.

The family of Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Price will accept his Silver Star on the second anniversary of his death at the Central Wesleyan Church in Price’s hometown of Holland, Michigan.

Price, 27, a team member with Special Operations Task Force-West, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan, was killed in Baghdis province on July 29, 2012. He was assisting Afghan special forces commandos in attempting to gain control of an enemy stronghold near the town of Bala Bokan.

According to Price’s medal citation, the Marines and commandos began to take heavy small arms fire shortly after insert. When three commandos were wounded, Price, volunteered to accompany his team chief, Gunnery Sgt. Jonathan Gifford, on a mission to transport the wounded to a landing zone for medevac. He and Gifford boarded all-terrain vehicles, gunning them a half-mile across unprotected ground.

They reached the wounded commandos and treated them, but the day wasn’t over.

The remaining Afghan special forces troops were still taking heavy fire and became trapped at their position, with more wounded men.

“Realizing the mission was in jeopardy, [Price] gathered additional ammunition and again accompanied [Gifford] across open terrain under fire to reinforce the beleaguered commandos,” Price’s medal citation reads.

Price then took out an insurgent who was firing at Marines and commandos from a window, scaled the wall of the enemy compound, and dropped a grenade down the building’s chimney to kill the insurgents still inside.

Price and Gifford were both killed at they continued the attack, but Marine officials said their bravery helped to break the enemy line and allow the commandos to take control of the village.

Price, who served nine years in the Marine Corps, was a former reconnaissance Marine who joined MARSOC in January 2008. He deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan three times each.

He previously received the Bronze Star with combat distinguishing device for a 2009 battle in Afghanistan’s Farah province in which he manned an MK19 grenade launcher for hours after his vehicle was destroyed, killing numerous enemy fighters, according to MARSOC officials.

Price’s Silver Star will be presented weeks after Gifford, who was a 34-year-old native of Palm Bay, Florida, was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross on June 17, for his heroism in the same battle.

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