Gary Price joined the Marine Corps in 1971. By early 1974, after an extensive series of schools, he had completed flight training and had become a helicopter pilot. In 1974 Lt Price was stationed in Okinawa, assigned to HMM 165, (a Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron) equipped with CH-46 helicopters. In early 1975 his squadron was ordered to support the evacuation of U.S. personnel from South Vietnam. He sailed to the South China Sea on the USS Dubuque, an amphibious transport dock, which accompanied the USS Essex. Price talks extensively about the evacuation operation.