DENVER (CBS4) – Citric at Large Greg Moody learns more about Danny Dietz, one of the real life navy seals portrayed in the new movie “Lone Survivor.”
Danny Dietz was 26 when he died during special ops in Afghanistan in June 2005.
The movie “Lone Survivor” looks at the operation that took his life and brought together the people intent on honoring his memory.
At the Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Sheridan hundreds of people gathered on Friday to eat, chat and honor Dietz.
The proceeds from the event, including an afternoon screening of the film, benefit the Danny Dietz memorial fund which provides a scholarship for a graduate from Danny’s alma mater, Heritage High School in Littleton.
“I think when we first started giving the scholarship a lot of people thought that they had to go into the military or something like that in order to receive it and that’s not the case at all. Really what we’re looking for is children who are trying to give back, children who are trying to better their community as well as themselves,” said Dietz’s sister Tiffany Bitz.
“The film is powerful, relentless and visceral. It cuts right to the heart of the story which made me wonder how the family could see it again and again,” said Moody.
“It’s very difficult and it’s not easy at all. Before the movie came out I thought ‘it’s not going to affect me, it’s not my brother on the screen so I’m going to be fine.’ I found out pretty quickly throughout the movie that even though it’s not my brother on the screen it’s his story, his injuries, his pain. But it’s also his greatness that you see on the screen and as hard as it is to watch I’m so glad that it’s out there and these men are being remembered,” said Bitz.
The family has been relentless in championing the film, the story and both their scholarship and leadership foundations.
But the memory of Danny is never far from their minds or hearts even eight years later.
“I think over time you learn how to live life without your loved one but there are days I wake up and the pain is just as intense as the day I found out he was gone and it’s because I won’t ever get my brother back. So how do you ever move on from that? The pain is definitely always going to be there,” said Bitz.
“Lone Survivor” is rated R and opened Friday in Denver area theaters.
“Seeing the family and talking with them, made me realize that this is more than just a movie. It is a story of a man and his family that doesn’t end with the final credits. It continues to this day as a story of patriotism, sacrifice and in the end, the shared humanity that exists between us all,” said Moody.