Denis Miranda was born on December 6, 1985, in Argentina, and immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1987. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on April 26, 2003, and went on active duty to begin basic training on September 10, 2003. Miranda completed basic training at NTC Great Lakes, Illinois, in November 2003, and then attended aviation technical training at NAS Pensacola, Florida, from November to December 2003. His first assignment was as a P-3 Orion aircraft mechanic with Patrol Squadron EIGHT (VP-8) at NAS Brunswick, Maine, from January 2004 to November 2006, followed by Naval Hospital Corpsman School at NTC Great Lakes from November 2006 to July 2007. He then attended Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training at NAB Coronado, California, from July 2007 to April 2008, and Advanced SEAL training from April to October 2008. Petty Officer Miranda served with SEAL Team FOUR at NAB Little Creek, Virginia, from October 2008 until he was killed in the crash of a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter in Afghanistan on September 21, 2010. Denis Miranda was buried at the Ocean County Memorial Park in Toms River, New Jersey.
His Bronze Star Medal Citation reads:
For meritorious service in connection with combat operations against the enemy while serving as automatic weapons gunner for Combined Special Operations Task Force - Afghanistan in direct support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM from 6 to 21 September 2010. On 21 September, Petty Officer Miranda's platoon conducted a high risk operation deep in enemy territory in southern Afghanistan. Petty Officer Miranda's task, as a member of a key supporting element, was to gain the high ground, locate enemy positions, and protect his teammates. At approximately 0400 hours, his element performed a dynamic insert on a narrow ridgeline and, immediately after touching down, the UH-6- performed an emergency takeoff and subsequently crash landed, fatally wounding Petty Officer Miranda. He fully understood the risks and ramifications associated with this mission and courageously answered the call by making the ultimate sacrifice to protect his fellow teammates on the battlefield. Petty Officer Miranda's distinctive contributions, unrelenting perseverance, and steadfast devotion to duty reflect great credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.