With great sorrow, DMLNews has learned that retired Navy veteran Lauren Price, founder of Veteran Warriors and a fierce advocate for veterans’ rights and healthcare, has died. She was 56, and passed away on Tuesday, March 30, after a courageous battle with lung disease due to chemicals she was exposed to while serving in Iraq.
Lauren was a friend to DMLNewsApp founder Dennis Michael Lynch and deeply respected by our TeamDML family. She was featured in DML’s documentary, “They Come to America 3,” was interviewed multiple times by DML, and was a guest speaker at a TeamDML event in Florida in October 2019.
Price enlisted in the Navy in January 2005, when she was 39 years old, excited to be serving her country. Two years later, she was sent to Iraq.
While serving in Iraq in 2007-2008, Price contracted a terminal lung disease, called Constrictive Bronchiolitis, due to exposure to the military’s use of open-air burn pits where hazardous waste is burned, leaving her with only 35 percent lung capacity.
Together with her husband Jim Price, a 21-year Navy veteran, the couple founded Veteran Warriors, a national veterans’ advocacy group which works on behalf of other veterans who need help, and tirelessly fights for legislation to improve care for veterans.
Upon her passing, Veteran Warriors announced the group’s mission and focus will remain as strong as ever and will continue the work that Lauren started, honoring her memory by serving the needs of the veteran community.
DML released the following statement Thursday night upon learning of Price’s death:
“Lauren Price was the epitome of what a true hero is. She served her country proudly, not just on the battle fields of Iraq but in the pits of a broken Washington DC. Instead of spending her final years resting on a sandy beach and checking off boxes on a bucket list, despite her terminal lung illness Lauren gave her energy and time to helping fellow veterans. Barely able to speak a paragraph without gasping for air, Lauren never quit lobbying for reforms that could fix the VA.
“Her efforts caught my attention and we became great friends. Her unbridled passion for helping others was something we rarely see in an era where selfie photos dominate social media. She inspired me to complain less over trivial nonsense and focus on fighting harder for the people and policies worth defending. I will miss my beloved friend, but I will always feel her presence.”
On behalf of DML, our entire DMLNewsApp staff and TeamDML.com members, we pay tribute to Lauren Price for her selfless service to this nation, and send our deepest condolences to her loved ones.
Price was a special guest on DML’s daily news show in April 2017. WATCH the powerful episode below:
In a Facebook post on Thursday, Veteran Warriors released the following announcement on Price’s death:
April 1, 2021
For Immediate Release:
RE: Veteran Warriors Mourns the Loss of Founder, Lauren Price
New Port Richey, FL – The Staff and Board of Directors of Veteran Warriors (VW) are devastated to announce the March 30, 2021 passing of our Executive Director Lauren Price, who co-founded the organization along with her husband Jim. Lauren suffered and ultimately lost her life due to illness and disease that directly resulted from her service in the United States Navy, specifically her exposure to toxic chemicals and substances during her deployment to Iraq. Rather than simply sit back and accept her diagnosis, Lauren, with the spirit and fire that she was known for, formed Veteran Warriors over a decade ago and devoted her life to advocating for recognition of the effects that toxic exposures have had on countless veterans and to ensuring that those veterans received the care that they earned.
Leading from the front, Lauren assembled a team dedicated to pursuing proper care and benefits for veterans. What was once a small Facebook page working on local issues has blossomed into a thriving nationwide organization with a reach and influence beyond the founder’s wildest dreams. Lauren was instrumental in developing and supporting Veteran Warriors’ mission, which includes assisting veterans, caregivers and their families across the nation, working with state and federal legislators, collaborating with Veteran Service Organizations and other work groups, and guiding the development/implementation of policies and laws for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Without Lauren, there would be no Veteran Warriors, and the public awareness of issues within VA programs and policies would be significantly lower.
Shortly before her passing, Lauren stated that “It has been my greatest honor to serve the veterans of this nation as their advocate. The people and organizations that I have met and worked with have been the best in the world.”
Holly Ferrell, formerly the organization’s National Appeals Director, has been appointed as the new Executive Director effective immediately. Additional restructuring will be occurring with other positions within the organization in the upcoming months. Rest assured that the mission and focus will remain as strong as ever throughout this restructuring phase.
It is our intention to continue the work that Lauren started and to honor her memory by serving the needs of the veteran community and maintaining the highest ideals of the Military Core Values that Lauren held so dear: Honor. Courage. Commitment. We hope that you will continue to support Veteran Warriors, now and in the years to come. As always, “One Family, One Fight!
A second post by Veteran Warriors on Friday states that Lauren’s service will be Sunday, April 11th, 12-3pm in New Port Richey, FL.
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