Daniel Jurich was born on November 1, 1929, in Ohio. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on December 4, 1946, and served as an Infantryman until his honorable discharge on May 30, 1948. PFC Jurich again enlisted in the U.S. Army on September 10, 1952, and served as an Infantryman during the Korean War before leaving active duty on October 14, 1953. He enlisted in the Army for a third time on December 29, 1958, and served as a light vehicle driver with the U.S. Army Training Center, Armor, at Fort Knox, Kentucky, from January 1959 to July 1960, and then with the 426th Supply and Transport Battalion at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, from July 1960 to May 1962. Sgt Jurich next served as a Patrol Leader with the U.S. Army Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol Company in West Germany from May 1962 to May 1965, followed by service as a Team Leader and then Squad Leader with Company B, 1st Battalion of the 501st Infantry Regiment at Fort Campbell from May 1965 to March 1966. After attending Special Forces Training, Sgt Jurich served as a Light Weapons Leader with Company C, 6th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, from September 1966 to September 1967, and then as a Light Weapons Leader and Armorer with Company C, 5th Special Forces Group in South Vietnam from September 1967 to October 1968. His next assignment was as a Heavy Weapons Leader with Company B, 7th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg from November 1968 to January 1973, and during this time he served on the Greenleaf Support Group during the Son Tay Raid, a clandestine mission to rescue American Prisoners of War held in North Vietnam on November 21, 1970. MSG Jurich served as a Heavy Weapons Leader with Company B, 2nd Battalion of the 1st Special Forces Group on Okinawa from February 1973 to June 1974, and then as a Heavy Weapons Leader with Company B, 1st Battalion of the 7th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg from July 1974 to July 1975. His final assignment was as a Heavy Weapons Leader and Operations Sergeant with the 4th Battalion of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg from July 1975 until his retirement from the Army on July 1, 1976. Daniel Jurich died on October 10, 1983.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
For gallantry in action on 21 November 1970 as a member of an all-volunteer joint U.S. Army and Air Force raiding force in the Joint Chiefs of Staff-directed heliborne assault mission to rescue United States military personnel held as prisoners of war at Son Tay prison in North Vietnam. This valiant effort was motivated by a deep compassion for his imprisoned fellow men-at-arms and by a strong sense of military duty and national pride. Sergeant Jurich, under intense ground combat conditions, led his raid-group element in clearing enemy guard quarters with such a positive and aggressive action that his group accomplished its hazardous mission in significantly less time than anticipated. After neutralizing the guard quarters, Sergeant Jurich, completely disregarding his personal safety, exposed himself to enemy small arms fire in an effort to draw this fire and protect his fire team members. Sergeant Jurich, throughout this valiant action, displayed professional calmness and leadership under fire that were both inspirational to his subordinates and major factors in the successful accomplishment of his assigned mission. Sergeant Jurich's daring skill, extraordinary heroism against an armed hostile force, and extreme devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself and the United States Army.