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Marc Lee, Navy SEAL, RIP (And then there were 18)

By Michael Fumento

In my Weekly Standard article The New Band of Brothers, I wrote of the courage and professionalism of 19 Navy SEALs in Ramadi whom I tagged along with and photographed and filmed during a firefight. Now there are 18. Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class (SEAL) Marc Alan Lee has died a true hero's death, laying down his life for his fellow men. He is the first SEAL killed in Iraq.

According to an embedded reporter with the Stars and Stripes newspaper, an enemy sniper shot and wounded one of Lee's SEAL comrades at the start of a firefight that lasted over an hour. Another SEAL was wounded in the battle that proved to be one of the largest in Iraq since the beginning of the insurgency. Lee was posthumously awarded the the Silver Star, one of the highest awards in the military, along with a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.

Firefight in Ramadi's Mulaab District. Marc Lee is at the extreme right.
"During the operation, one element member was wounded by enemy fire. The element completed the casualty evacuation, regrouped and returned onto the battlefield to continue the fight," the citation reads. "Petty Officer Lee and his SEAL element maneuvered to assault an unidentified enemy position. He, his teammates, Bradley Fighting Vehicles and Abrams tanks engaged enemy positions with suppressive fire from an adjacent building to the north.

"To protect the lives of his teammates, he fearlessly exposed himself to direct enemy fire by engaging the enemy with his machine gun and was mortally wounded in the engagement. His brave actions in the line of fire saved the lives of many of his teammates."

After watching them in action from a rooftop I shared with them, I wrote of Lee and his comrades, "Those SEALs fight like machines." But they're not, of course. This SEAL left behind his parents and young wife, who says they were planning a family. He also truly cared more about the people of Ramadi. "He said they were begging for the military to release them from this tyranny and were appalled at the things that were going on," his mother Debbie Lee told a reporter.

God bless our troops in Iraq; God bless the men fighting to liberate Ramadi; God bless the SEALs.

August 10, 2006 06:51 PM  ·  Iraq