Friday August 2, 2013 will be the 7th anniversary since we lost one of our America bravest heroes. If you are a MAF supporter you might have already met our MAF spokeswoman Gold Star Mom Debbie Lee. You might already know the story of her son Marc Alan Lee the first Navy SEAL killed in Iraq.
I wanted to take the time to tell you what Momma Lee and Marc mean to me as Enlisted Navy volunteer, as a OEF/OIF veteran, as a thankful citizen. I don’t just think of Marc, I think of all those like him who have served and continue to serve our great Nation every day, all of whom whom are ready and willing to pay the ultimate price, honor the uniform , honor the country, and honor you.
Marc was the first Navy SEAL to give his life in Iraq. He was in the Ramadi or “the worst piece of real estate in Iraq” as he and his SEAL team referred to it. Deployed with Seal Team 3, they were on a rooftop when the team took fire from 30 insurgents on another rooftop. Marc’s friend Ryan went down when enemy bullets hit his gun, sending shrapnel into Ryans face. With no medic on the roof Marc decided to stand up to draw fire to provide essential cover for his friend Ryan who was hit. A medic was then able to reach Ryan thanks to Marc’s decisive action and determined that he had to EVAC immediately to have any hope of survival.
Marc again drew fire from the insurgents so that Ryan and the rest of the team could get off that roof and get back to base. Once they returned to base Marc’s team received intel about the location of the 30 insurgents that had just attacked them. Not missing a beat, Marc re-deployed with his team to clearing the house where the insurgents were expected to be. Just after reaching the second floor Marc took fire from a window. He turned into the fire and gave his life to save his teammates behind him.
The base where Marc’s friend Ryan was rushed back to was later named “Camp Marc Lee” in honor of his actions that led to Ryan’s safe return. Marc was posthumously awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with Valor, a Purple Heart. Marc and his teammates from Seal Team 3 are now the most highly decorated special ops unit since The Vietnam War.
It is this man I see every time I look into the eyes of Momma Lee, it is those like him I see every time I speak to troops or military families. It is these men and women who laid down their lives that I will remember this Friday August 2, 2013.
This Friday please help me celebrate the life and memory of Marc Alan Lee, the life and memory of all those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. Thank a service member, thank a veteran, thank a military spouse or child. We are a nation of heroes because of them.
US Navy Vet &
Operations Director at Move America Forward