KUSA - "Lone Survivor," the new film about a covert, tragic but ultimately heroic NAVY SEAL mission in Afghanistan, is helping the world to know what Colorado already knows; that one of those SEALS who didn't make it back was Danny Dietz of Littleton.
The Dietz family, Dan Dietz Sr. and Cindy Dietz-Marsh, and his siblings, Tiffany Bitz and Eric Dietz - helped shape the movie. Dan Dietz worked closely with Emile Hirsch, the actor who portrays his son, sharing every detail he could, and making sure Hirsch realized that Danny fought to the very last, even though he had been shot so many times.
Dietz's parents say as horrific as the battle is to experience on film, the reality was much more intense. Dietz was shot multiple times during the firefight, and although his right thumb had been blown off in the battle, he continued to shoot at the enemy to protect his unit. As fellow seal Marcus Luttrell hooked his arms underneath the shoulders of his badly wounded comrade to drag him down the slope, a bullet hit Dietz in the back of his head. He died in Luttrell's arms.
Screenings have been difficult on Danny's mother and father. They say the film portrays the absolute worst moments of their son's life, but they are grateful that his sacrifice can now be more widely understood. They are also hopeful it will lead some moviegoers to more fully explore Danny's legacy, including how he came to be a SEAL.
The family has helped author Jeremy Dunlap write "Danny: The Virtues Within", which gives a fresh account of Danny's path. It shares childhood stories (at age 3 being a ninja against his Bugs Bunny punch bag and "again Daddy, again" as he learned to ride a bike with no training wheels) including what the Dietz's say were life lessons that helped him overcome mistakes of his teen years.
Ultimately, they hope the book explains how Dietz came to an understanding that character isn't something you are born with - it's something you take responsibility to form. To learn more please visit:
Danny Dietz: Official Family Facebook Page
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