A sailor from Oregon died this week while on patrol in Ramadi, Iraq, according to the U.S. Department of Defense and his family members.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Marc A. Lee, 28, of Hood River was killed Aug. 2, as he entered a building with his team during a fierce battle against insurgents.
Lee was an aviation ordnanceman and a member of a West Coast-based Navy SEAL team, the military said.
Lee''s family told The Oregonian newspaper that he became a SEAL in 2004 and headed to Iraq last March.
U.S. Navy officers told his mother, Debbie Lee, that her son died minutes after he single-handedly held off enemy fighters as his team rescued a soldier wounded on a rooftop by a sniper.
Lee told the newspaper that she has for a long time described her son by simply quoting from the Bible''s Gospel of John.
"Greater love has no man than to lay down his life for his friends," Debbie Lee recited during a phone interview Friday night from her home in Surprise, Ariz.
The Navy said Marc Lee has been awarded the Bronze Star with Valor for heroism, the Purple Heart and the Combat Action Ribbon for his actions in the battle.
Marc Lee leaves behind a wife, Maya.
Born in Portland, Marc Lee lived in Hood River for most of his childhood, graduating from Baptist Christian School 10 years ago.
In letters home, Lee never expressed regrets about taking the path or doubts about U.S. operations in Iraq.
"He felt strongly that people wanted him there," Debbie Lee said. "He told me how people cried for our military to save them from some horrific stuff."
According to the count compiled by Gov. Ted Kulongoski''s office, Lee is the 65th person either from Oregon or with strong ties to the state to have been killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In one of the last letters he sent before his death, a Navy SEAL wrote that his duty in Iraq made him appreciate America even more.
"I have felt fear at some of the things I have seen here," wrote U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Marc A. Lee. "I have seen amazing things and sad things."
But being in Iraq, he added, "makes me realize what a great country we have."
Lee''s brother, Kris, read the letter at a memorial service this weekend at the Hood River Expo Center. More than 600 people heard Lee eulogized as son, husband, brother, uncle, warrior, American and Christian.
Lee, 28, was killed Aug. 2 in a firefight while on patrol against insurgents in Ramadi, Iraq. A member of a Coronado, Calif.-based SEAL team, Lee was one of the first members of the elite group to be killed in Iraq.
U.S. Navy officers told Debbie Lee that her son died after single-handedly holding off enemy fighters as his team rescued a wounded soldier from a rooftop.
SEALs rely on each other like brothers, so it is no surprise that Lee gave his life saving his brothers, said U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, who represents Hood River, where Lee grew up, and was one of about a dozen speakers.
Boyhood best friend Chris Wells, who later joined Marc Lee''s family when he married Lee''s sister, Cheryl, said, "Marc was my best friend, my brother-in-law, my children''s uncle, and now my hero."
Officiating pastor Doug Iverson said: "He left as a boy, and he become a true warrior. He was not a perfect man. Not perfect but perfected in God."
Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees of the Oregon National Guard, representing Gov. Ted Kulongoski, gave Debbie Lee a Gold Star banner. Kulongoski, who has vowed to attend the funeral of all active duty military personnel from Oregon, attended Lee''s funeral and burial two weeks ago at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in Point Loma, Calif.
Lee is survived by his wife, Maya Elbaum; mother, Debra Lee; sister, Cheryl Wells; and brother, Kris.
Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com
Marc A. Lee staged a diversion in a moment of crisis. He reportedly made the decision to sacrifice his life after another SEAL was hit by sniper fire and several men were trapped inside a building.
"It was so like Marc to give up his life to save his friends. I am so proud of him _ he is my hero," said his mother, Debbie Lee.
Lee, 28, of Hood River, Ore., was killed Aug. 2 during a shootout in Ramadi. Lee, who was home schooled for much of his education, joined the Navy in 2001 and was based at Coronado.
He also is survived by his wife, Maya.
"Marc was amazing. He was my best friend, my love," she said.
Besides being an avid soccer player during and after high school, Marc Lee loved skiing and weightlifting, his mother said. He also had a seemingly constant sense of humor.
"Marc touched lives everywhere he went because of the person that he was. He will be missed," she said.
It was only after her youngest child was born that Debbie Lee was flipping through a book of baby names and saw one of the meanings for Marc: "mighty warrior."
She said, "That fits."
To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
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MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
Continue to rest in peace, Marc and my deepest condolences to your family and friends. You will never be forgotten.
August 2, 2017
Thank you for keeping me save God bless you
November 11, 2016
God Bless you Brother
August 2, 2016
We continue to honor and hold our salute for Petty Officer 2nd Class Marc A. Lee into eternity. He and countless others who served their country will never be forgotten nor will the places they fought.
April 19, 2015
Please accept my Deepest Sympathies
February 25, 2015
To this brave man's family and his courageous wife for telling us of the real Marc Lee. I have read your article, from today's paper, to our children - including your husband's last letter. This is the sort of man I want our girls to marry and our boys to be. Thank you and we will pray for you. God bless, The Mason Family
February 20, 2015
To the family and friends of Petty Officer 2nd Class Marc A. Lee: Please accept my remembrance of Marc on the anniversary of his passing and know that he will never be forgotten.
August 3, 2011
To the family and friends of Petty Officer 2nd Class Marc A. Lee: Remembering Marc on the anniversary of his passing. May our fallen heroes never be forgotten! Peggy Childers "Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away" www.IraqWarHeroes.org
August 3, 2010
To the family of Petty Officer 2nd Class Marc A. Lee: Marc gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all." Peggy Childers "Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away" www.IraqWarHeroes.org
August 3, 2009
We love our Soldiers! We love our country and we cannot express enough love and compassion to the families of our fallen heroes. War does not discriminate – It breaks our hearts to see the faces of the fallen. We want to give this gift to you. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Over 1,450 portraits have been completed and shipped to the parents and or spouse - at no cost as this is a gift from one American to another! Contact us directly at [email protected] or go to www.heropaintings.com. If you have already had a portrait completed, we pray that you are enjoying the portrait and God Bless You. Sincerely, Kenna
March 25, 2009
dear marc,you are a mighty warrior.thanks you for your service.
September 26, 2008
Holding you all in my thoughts and prayers.
The Wind on The Downs
“I like to think of you as brown and tall, As strong and living as you used to be, In khaki tunic, Sam Brown belt and all, And standing there and laughing down at me. Because they tell me, dear, that you are dead, Because I can no longer see your face, You have not died, it is not true, instead You seek adventure in some other place. That you are round about me, I believe; I hear you laughing as you used to do, Yet loving all the things I think of you; And knowing you are happy, should I grieve? You follow and are watchful where I go.”
(Written by Marian Allen during World War l )
Two lines that I wish you to keep near your heart…….
“You seek adventure in some other place. That you are round about me, I believe”
I did not know Marc, but I am remembering his service. He is my hero. !
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The Other Side
i'm over on the other side where life and death softly divide. left my skin and bones behind now i'm over on the other side.
can you feel me there with you? my breath is gone but i'm not through. loved you then and i still do from over on the other side.
i can fly. really fly. below the earth ... all through the sky. tell em all i did not die. i'm just over on the other side.
it's good here on the other side. the sweetest songs...the bluest skies. thank you for the tears you cried but it's good here on the other side.
i can fly. really fly. below the earth...all through the sky. tell em all i did not die. i'm just over on the other side
the world is smaller than a needle's eye. where life and death softly divide. when you leave your skin and bones behind i'll be waiting on the other side.
i can fly. really fly. below the earth ... all through the sky. go tell em all i did not die. i'm just over on the other side.
Song lyrics by Don Conoscenti C Desert Muse/SESAC www.donconoscenti.com (Used with permission)
“I hope it brings great comfort to any and all. Peace on you. DonCon” 4-2008
The Other Side – (To hear the song) http://tinyurl.com/3o8gol
Deb Estep ~ Ohio Proud Air Force Mom SSgt Vince – Lackland AFB Proud Air Force MIL SrA Dana – Randolph AFB
Remembering The Fallen – Blog http://tinyurl.com/3z8p55
Angel and soldier drawing I have shared here. http://tinyurl.com/6gey8b
August 2, 2008
July 29, 2008
You are remembered and respected. Thank you Petty Officer 2nd Class Lee!
June 1, 2008
To the Family of Marc Lee, I served with Marc Lee on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Transportation Department where we drove buses all day long. He spoke about his dream of becoming a US Navy SEAL and I shared my dream of becoming a Police Officer. His words of encouragement helped me reach my dream. I just found out today of his sacrifice and am very sad. You have my deepest sympathy. Sincerely, Jennifer Thomas.
April 13, 2008
Dear Debbie and Family
I just wanted you to know that I saw a copy of your beautiful Veteran's Day 2007 message...
As you requested, I've shared it to others.
Maybe you could share it here on Marc's Legacy site. :)
Remembering Marc and all who have served this country. To those who have given all, I will never forget.
Sincerely, Debra Estep PAFM - Vinny - Iraq vet PAFMIL- Dana - Iraq vet
November 11, 2007
I want to be counted among those who shed tears at your loss. I would have loved to know you two together, just as I loved you as a little girl and never forgot.
September 1, 2007
There is nothing that I can say or do to take away the pain or bring you peace in your time of sorrow, but I will offer you and your family my heart felt condolences. I also offer you my prayers that in time the pain will easy and the memories of your HERO will carry you through each day and night. I want to thank your HERO, for his/her selfless act of becoming a member of the armed forces, his/her willingness to defend the United States of America, all that we hold sacred and for the sacrifice that will forever be etched in the memories of all those who knew him/her. Though tears can never bring him/her back, we hope that our tears express our gratitude for the sacrifice that he/she made and our sorrow at his/her passing. I believe for every fallen HERO there is a star shining brightly up above to remind us of the precious gift we were given.
Your mission on earth is complete and you are now a member of GOD’s Heavenly armed forces. Stand down brave warrior and take your rightful place in Heaven with all the HEROES who have passed before.
I made a special promise to LE RON A. WILSON, a dear family friend who joined the Army with three other friends, one of whom is my son (Le Ron was killed in action on 07/06/07 at the age of 18) on the day he was laid to rest as I touched his coffin, that I would never forget him nor would I forget those that gave their lives for our country before him, with him and after him and so when I came across www.legacy.com, I thought what a great way to keep my promise to Le Ron, so I will continue to leave tributes in each guest book until the day there is no longer the need to leave these tributes to a FALLEN HERO.
REST IN PEACE, HERO, YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!!
PROUD MOTHER OF A U.S. SOLDIER Currently stationed in Germany Althea Barrett(Queens, NY)
August 17, 2007
Thank you for the sacrifice made by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lee and the sacrifice made by everyone who loves and misses him! May God bless all of you!!
July 30, 2007
First, I would like to say that Marc left a legacy, a legacy that will never die as long as I live. His friendship was truly genuine with alot of laughs, this guy could make anyone crack up at any moment. I miss this guy more everyday, but I look at how he died and would not expect anything different from him. Thats the kind of friend he was, he was gifted in loyalty period. I hope that anyone who reads this understands that his death was not in vain, its an inspiration. Marc....you will always be remembered guy, see ya!
July 5, 2007
I served with Marc on the Eisenhower back in 2002-2005. We drove nasty navy buses together. I am proud of Marc, but I sure do miss him. He was a brother in Christ and arms whom I respected and many others.
June 20, 2007
To the Family of Marc Lee, First of all we want to thank you for your sacrifice, we being the family of Navy SEAL Danny Phillip Dietz Jr. can share your pain and loss but can always be sooo proud of our loved ones accomplishments they along with all who have layed down their lives are true opitimies of honor. We send our love.... The Dietz Family...
May 30, 2007
heartfelt sympathy to the Lee family in the loss of Marc. I did not
know Marc, but my heart is broken and I am saddened for your loss of
such a fine young person and hero. May God bring you peace in your
heart as you reflect on all the wonderful memories you hold so close.
Please know that you are in my heart and prayers. Marc you are my hero
and you will NEVER be forgotten.
I send each of you a hug from the most inner part of my heart.
Love and Peace
To live in the hearts of those you leave behind is never to die"
September 11, 2006
September 2, 2006
To the Family of Petty Officer 2nd Class Marc A. Lee:
My heart breaks again as I sign yet another guest book of another courgeous young soldier who gave their life so selflessly. I wish I never found myself in a position to have to sign another guestbook for the rest of my life. We lost a son 12/1/05 and it seems like yesterday.
I know first hand there are no words right now that will bring you the comfort and peace you need. Just know that you are not alone. My heart, thoughts, and prayers are with you all as you mourn this loss. We don't know each other, will probably never meet, but will forever be united in the loss of our Heroes. We have, unfortunately joined a group none of us wanted to join, an ever-growing group of families in this situation. May God grant you peace and strength to get through this and be able once again to smile at a memory rather than have only the tears that flow so easily now. To be so proud of your loved one and so saddened at the same time is a mix of emotions very difficult to deal with. I am sorry that I never knew your soldier personally, but none of these courageous men and women will be forgotten. They will never be able to be replaced, but sometime, someday your loving memories will help to sustain you. This courageous soldier will forever now be your Angel watching over you all for the rest of your lives. It's what brings me some measure of peace and comfort and I hope it will you as well. To his family and friends in pain, I offer this comfort: When you find yourself in that dark sorrowful place, think not only of how you will miss him, but instead recall the years, days, hours and minutes gifted to you by his presence. The one thing that cannot be taken from you is those wonderful memories that now will mean more than ever. If you ever want to talk, I'm only an e:mail away and would love for you to tell me more about your Hero. God Bless this courageous soldier and family.
Pam Adams (SFC Brent Adams, KIA 12/1/05 Ramadi, Iraq) [email protected]
(Millersville, PA )
August 14, 2006
God Bless your family and see you in Paradise. Shipmate, you are relieved of your watch. Bravo Zulu
SK2 (SW/AW) R. Lee
August 12, 2006
Please accept our sympathy for your loss, and our prayers that God provide you peace and comfort. Marc will live on in the hearts of many American families, who recognize his honor and courage and who will be here to support your family with prayer. God Bless.
August 8, 2006
MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOURS. PLEASE ACCEPT MY DEEPEST SYMPATHIES FOR YOUR GREAT LOSS. KNOW THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE OUT HERE WHO DO CARE AND YOUR HERO WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. HOLD TIGHT TO YOUR TREASURED MEMORIES THAT HIS SPECIAL SMILE MAY CONTINUE TO SHINE ON. I PRAY THAT PEACE WILL FIND YOU ALL SOMEDAY. STAY STRONG AND GODSPEED. SEMPER FI
A PROUD MARINE MOM
August 8, 2006
Dear Wife and Family of Marc Lee,
I didn't have the honor to meet your loving warrior, but i feel his lost so deeply in my heart.
My husband died in Afhganistan June 28th,2005 Danny P. Dietz who was also a Seal.
Marc will never be forgoten, he is the definition of a true SEAL....a true warrior.
Life will never be the same without him, but he will be watching over you from above making sure you still feel his love shining from heaven.
Maria (Patsy) Dietz
August 8, 2006
Please know that I am deeply sorry for your loss.
The price Petty Officer 2nd Class Marc A. Lee and his family paid for this country will NEVER BE FORGOTTEN...
May he Rest well in the Mighty Arms of God and may God's Loving Comfort and Grace be with the Lee family.
I am the sister of such a young hero, who made the Ultimate Sacrifice in Vietnam, many years ago.
"I consider that our present sufferings.
are not worth comparing with the glory
that shall be revealed in us."
May the memories of your loved one live in your heart always.
Softly and slowly....