Gold Star mom remembers fallen Marine in book

Ottawa County

HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — Outside the Price family home near Holland, an American flag rippled in the wind Tuesday morning. Inside the home, encased in a glass box, are a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star, among other military medals. 

They’re symbols of a life of service. 

That life was cut short.

“I will never forget the Marines standing on our front door step. We knew immediately when they showed up,” Ruth Price told to 24 Hour News 8 Tuesday.

In the summer of 2012, U.S. Marine Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Price was shot and killed in Afghanistan while serving his sixth combat tour overseas. He was 27.

Even six years later, there’s still pain for his mother.

“It doesn’t ever go away,” Ruth Price said. “There are days where it feels like it was yesterday.”

But sometime between then and now, Price decided to use her grief and her son’s life as inspiration.

“There was a Gold Star father that told us shortly after Dan was killed that we are the voices of our dead sons, and if we don’t tell their stories, their stories won’t be told,” Price said.

So she became determined to tell her son’s — from farm boy to Marine Raider to the ultimate sacrifice.

It took many months and many conversations with her son’s wife, his family and those who served alongside him. It meant reopening old wounds and revisiting hard days, including the day Sgt. Price was brought home and laid to rest.

“There were days I’d work at it (the book) for a half an hour and, ‘Done. Can’t do it.’ And didn’t do anything else the rest of the day,” Ruth Price said.

Eventually, she found the words and finish the book, which she titled “No Stray Bullets: The Making of an American Hero.”

The title is a nod to the Price family’s strong faith. While the story honors and remembers their war hero and credits the experiences and lives who helped shape his, Ruth Price said it has an even bigger purpose.

“Ultimately it’s for God,” she explained. “Dan is- he’s our only perfect son. And the rest of us are still struggling through the wilderness. So it’s to be an encouragement to those who are struggling, who maybe need to hear the message, who need to be encouraged.”

If you’d like to purchase a copy of the book, it is available at Readers World in Holland, Reformed Book Outlet in Hudsonville and also on Amazon.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Marine Raider Foundation.

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