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Officials are investigating the death of Navy SEAL Cmdr. Job W. Price, 42.
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Then they jumped in the pool. Price could barely swim a 50-yard lap, Armato said.
"I said, 'You understand that if you want to be in the SEALs, this is something you will have to learn,'" Armato said. "He said, 'Coach, I will do that.'"
"Within a year, we swam competitions together, and he beat me out of the water," he said. "Wherever he encountered obstacles, he was determined and very focused. He was always up for the next challenge."
Price became a Navy SEAL, graduating from Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in 1993, according to his biography, posted by the Pottstown School District when he became an alumni Honor Roll member in 2011.
He got married. He deployed twice to Panama, then to Spain, Germany and Kosovo and several times to the Middle East after 9/11 in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He deployed in Bahrain. Most recently, he assumed command of members of SEAL Team 4.
He won numerous medals, including two Bronze Stars. He became a father.
Armato wouldn't ask him about his life with the SEALs. It was off-limits, and he respected that.
"I don't know what his life was like, or what a SEAL's life is like or a military person's life is like--when you spend 20 years preparing to be deployed or being deployed where you spend every day in a place none of us would want to be in," Armato said.
"He was very clear about this with me: It was important to do something that was bigger than the person. My perception is to do that for 20 years--that's asking a lot from anyone, and only the most dedicated and most committed are doing that. That's who he was. From day one."
On Tuesday, Price came home for the last time. His wife, Stephanie, and his parents, Harry and Nancy Price, were at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware for the arrival.
"His mom and pop had to spend Christmas bringing their son's coffin home," Armato said.
"Losing him--no matter how--the end result is, he's still gone," he said. "The end result is: His wife no longer has a husband that's going to come home. His daughter no longer has a father that's going to help raise her. And I no longer have a companion that I could feel very closely connected to."