Marc Alan Lee was the first Navy Seal to be killed in Iraq (August 2, 2006). He was also a Summit graduate attending twice the previous years. For his role in Iraq he was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart for his heroic actions on the 2nd of August. In fact, Marc and his team mates from ST-3 are now the most highly decorated special ops unit since Viet Nam.
To honor his death, Marc’s mother (Debbie Lee) has written the following letter addressed to…Marc Alan Lee…
My dear Marc, my Mighty Warrior, my Hero….
I love and miss you so very much. It’s been 8 years since you were redeployed to Heaven, and I know that you are in the best hands that could ever hold you! I was blessed that God trusted me to be able to hold and love you for 28 years.
I have so many fond memories of you:
Carrying you in my womb you grew quickly and moved like crazy causing the doctors to think they heard two heartbeats and declare you were twins!
The first time they placed you in my arms at the hospital and I held and nursed you; it brought such peace and contentment, even though your father and I had gone through a divorce during the pregnancy and I had no idea how I was going to raise you and your siblings who were 2 and 3.
The animated and crazy sounds you made as a toddler… Disney didn’t need a sound crew, they just needed you.
Your knock-knock jokes you would make up that were so stupid but you would crack yourself up laughing, and everyone else couldn’t help but laugh with you.
You loved to have me give you a back rub/tickle thing I do and you would say, “Hey Mom give me tingles.”
You winning class clown 2 years in a row and questioning you about how that would get you a scholarship.
The day you came home as a freshmen and declared “I’m going to be a professional soccer player,” with the only problem being you had never played soccer a day in your life. Yet, you did see that dream come true and were trying out for a professional team in Colorado when you blew out your knee the night before try-outs.
The day you came home and announced you had joined the Navy and had a contract to go to BUDs to become a Navy SEAL. You had so much determination and perseverance.
The many times we would wrestle and slap fight. I remember taunting you and telling you I could whoop your tushy. As you grew in stature and strength, under my breath I would say, “Or at least let me think I can.”
The last hug I ever received from you when you left my house before you deployed. Even as a teenager, when I would drop you off at the bus before a soccer game you had no problem giving me a kiss and a hug. I miss your kisses, hugs and hearing “I love you Mom!”
It’s hard to believe it has been 8 years since you left this earth. What you did that day – purposely standing in the direct line of fire three different times to save your teammates – was so selfless, noble, honorable and heroic. Oh, by the way I did make it to Iraq and got to see where you spent your last days. They named your base in Ramadi after you “Camp Marc Lee.”
They also named the new TRADET building in Coronado after you, the “Marc A. Lee” Training Center. That’s perfect because you did rock it when it came to physical training! I am soooooooo very proud of you!!! You sacrificed everything; you gave up all of your tomorrows, your future, so they could live today.
I catch myself wondering, what if you were still here? Would there be 4 or 5 little Marcs running around? Would you have gotten out of the SEALs and become a successful businessman? Oh wait, you were a West Coast SEAL and they would tease you and call you “pretty boy.”
So I guess you would be making movies in Hollywood….heehee… Hey, I always teased you before, so I would be lacks to stop now? ;o)
Would you be living in the same town with your brother and I and all of the cousins hanging out in Grandma’s pool. I know you would have been there to care for me when I got old…wiping my drool and changing my diapers. Hey I changed plenty of yours!!!
Then I come back to reality. But son, just in case you can’t see down here, let me tell you how God has used that letter you wrote just weeks before you were killed and your heroic story to change lives around the world.
I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that your life has changed millions and millions of lives around the world. You may not physically be here, but you are still impacting this world in a major way.
I know you just intended that letter to go to a few friends and family. But hey, I’m your Mom, and if I can’t sing your praises something’s wrong. So I’ve sent it to a few people who sent it to a few people, who sent it to a few people. (The internet is a great thing!) Do you guys have that up there? Jon Voight even carries it in his wallet. I started a foundation and named it America’s Mighty Warriors. You remember all those talks we had about your name and the meaning of it (Marc = Mighty Warrior). And me telling you that if you kept your eyes on God, He had something big He wanted to do through you. Well He did! This sure wasn’t what I had in mind, but I shouldn’t be surprised as God tells us His ways are not our ways!
You believed, and are in glory – no pain, no sorrow, no sickness for you. I find such comfort knowing I will see you again! God has given me amazing strength and comfort! Remember when I used to do the Kindergarten graduation and Christmas programs for the school and I would freak out to speak in front of 200 people? I would hold the microphone with both hands trying to make it stop shaking?? I know it sounds crazy, but I speak and tell people your heroic story, and God has taken my fear away and put me in amazing places. I know you’re there with Him every day, and this all makes sense to you. But we live by faith down here. People tell me all the time what a strong woman I am, but I have to correct them and say, “Oh no, it’s not me. What you see is God’s strength.” I do long for the day He calls me home and I get to communicate in person with you and give you a big hug.
Oh by the way, I did accept your challenge in that last letter to “pass on the kindness the love, the precious gift of human life.” You were wise beyond your years. It is so cool to do those random acts of kindness you mentioned and then hand people your letter or hero card. Yes I did make hero cards that I pass out…I know you didn’t seek the glory and wouldn’t want that, but hey, you’re not here to stop me.
I must tell you it is so strange to see your name on a granite wall, in a book, or on a movie. But when we have heroes like you who selflessly sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy every day, you deserve it Marc, your story needs to be told and is being told.
Oh and your final gift to me – your teammates – has been such a blessing!! You always did spend so much time finding just that perfect gift, and you rocked on that one buddy. They call me Momma Lee, and I finally get what you were trying to tell me about the “brotherhood” thing. They were as close to you as your brother, and they are my “adopted or inherited” sons. You could never be replaced, but there are lots of brothers all over trying to fill your shoes. Of course Chris has probably filled you in on many of the details since he got to Heaven. Tell him I miss him tons, and give him a big hug for me. I’m so proud of him too! Tell him I am watching out over the Kyle family just like he watched out over me for you.
In your memory, I put your boots on and pick up your weapon to stay in the fight daily for our troops and the families of the fallen. Thank you, Marc; your final actions, you never quit, you ran into the line of fire and gave your final breath; no one took that from you. We had a tough life growing up and perseverance was something we lived. But doggone it, now when I want to quit and just live the easy life, I think of you and the sacrifice you made and it pushes me forward. ;o)
I love and miss you deeply, but will carry on until God calls me home! Tell the rest of the guys Momma Lee sends love and hugs!
A very special letter someone wrote ;o) had this ending and I think it’s only appropriate to send it back to you. Halfway through the deployment can’t wait to see your smiling face.
I love you,