Denver MEPS rededicates ceremony room to ‘Lone Survivor’ SEAL
By Airman 1st Class Samantha Saulsbury, 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 15, 2014
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Yesterday, a large room, usually full of excitement and noise, was filled with solemn silence.
More than 50 people from all branches of service and the Denver community gathered to rededicate the Denver Military Entrance Processing Station's ceremony room in honor of Petty Officer 2nd Class Danny Dietz.
Dietz, an Aurora, Colorado native, achieved his life-long dream of becoming a Navy SEAL in 1999. In 2005, Dietz was deployed to Afghanistan as part of an elite team with three other SEALS during Operation Enduring Freedom. Dietz was killed during the mission fighting for his nation on June 28, 2005.
The Denver MEPS ceremony room at their temporary location was dedicated to Dietz, and the dedication was transferred to the permanent MEPS location. The Denver MEPS processes more than 7,000 future warfighters each year who pledge their lives in the exact same room Danny raised his right hand 15 years ago.
"I want young men and women who enlist in our military today to be reminded of his courage, of his sacrifice and his service to this nation," said Rep. Mike Coffman.
The rededication of the ceremony room will allow future service members to be reminded of the loyalty and patriotism that Dietz embodied while serving the nation.
"The reason we are gathered here today is that Dietz cared more about the people around him than he did himself," said U.S. Marine Corps Col. William Reinhart, U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command, western sector commander.
Danny's mother, father and nephew also attended the event. The family stated they were overcome with pride, knowing that every future service member to swear the oath in Denver would get to know a little bit about Danny and keep his memory alive.
"I'm so proud and honored," said Cindy Dietz, Danny's mother. "This means a lot to have him not forgotten."
The ceremony concluded with a ribbon cutting outside of the ceremony room, officially dedicating the room to Dietz.
"Thank you for your son," Coffman said to Dietz's parents. "Thank you for raising such an extraordinary man."
The story of Dietz's final deployment and the circumstances surrounding his final sacrifice for his nation is penned by a fellow SEAL in his memoir "Lone Survivor."