Hooyah Navy SEALs, again you’ve made “MommaLee” proud!
Easter Sunday 2009 and “my boys” are doing what they do best. Secretly confronting the “bad guys” and protecting and defending the rights of American Citizens. 3 shots fired and 3 terrorists who will never terrorize anyone again. Now that’s efficient use of our military ammo. A well planned, successful rescue operation to save Capt. Phillips, by some of America’s most professional, highly skilled, selfless, and brave warriors.
We rarely hear about the secret missions of these warrior SEALs, and that’s the way they prefer to keep it. I remember being at Sea World with several of “my boys” when they were recognizing the military at the Shamu exhibit. They had played a video honoring our troops and had asked all of the military and their families to stand. “My boys” refused to stand even after I encouraged them to do it. They said they didn’t need the recognition.
If you’ve noticed the last couple of days the media coverage of this event never shows faces or mentions the names of these noble defenders of freedom. They won’t be on the interview circuit or attending public award ceremonies to share their heroic story or receive accolades. This is just their job and nothing out of the ordinary for them. Everyday these mighty warriors are defending the defenseless, at home and abroad. When I met President Bush in Oct 06 he referred to these brave SEALs as “The elite of the elite.”
You may be wondering why I keep calling them “my boys,” and why I care so much and am so proud of them. Many of you know why but for those of you who don’t, they are family. I had heard about the special bond between those who serve and fight together, but never having served in the military I had never experienced it myself. My son Marc Alan Lee became a SEAL in 2004 and was a brother to so many in the Navy SEAL community. When he was in training and while he was in Iraq he shared the special connection and bond that he had made with so many, explaining that they were like brother’s. On the night of Aug 2, 2006 my life would be forever changed and I would begin to experience and understand that relationship myself.
That evening I would hear the words “We’re sorry to inform you that your son Marc Alan Lee was killed in the line of duty.“ Marc stood out into the direct line of fire three times that day and willingly gave up his life for his brothers. What a hero!
After I had been notified of his death I received numerous phone calls from his teammates, those “brothers.” They were trying to be so brave and strong for me in the midst of their deep loss and pain. As they shared their condolences, I could hear in their voices and stories how deeply they loved Marc. He had deeply impacted them with his humor, his determination, his playfulness, and his faith in Christ. Yes, these were Marc’s brothers, no doubt about it. “I remember sharing John 15:13 with them “Greater love has no man than this, that he would lay down his life for his brother.” Marc loved deeply and was deeply loved.
I realized in the next several days as many of these young men were in and out of my home, and as I communicated with his brothers still in Ramadi, the depth of their friendship and the unique bond. I remember thinking if these were Marc’s brothers, then that makes them my sons, sons that I had inherited.
Marc loved to pick out special gifts and took time on Birthdays and Holidays to find just that unique special something. I remember numerous times he would return from a successful shopping trip with his gift in hand and big smile on his face. He could barely contain his child like excitement to give me his unique gift. Oh how he struggled waiting for that special holiday to arrive and often he would try to convince me to open it right then. I remember one Christmas when I said no Marc, put it under the tree and he immediately opened it anyway.
Marc carefully picked his final gift to me, the gift of his brothers, and again he intended for that gift to be opened immediately. Within days of Marc’s death these inherited sons began calling me MommaLee and started sharing their love with me.
It has been over 2 years since Marc was redeployed to Heaven and not a day goes by that I don’t think of him, yet I have been so blessed to be part of the lives of so many amazing SEALs and their families. I remember in one of the articles I wrote I mentioned the 21 adopted sons that had so deeply impacted my life and who had shared their love and support with me. we have an email from a SEAL on the East Coast who I had never met, who voiced his love and support for me, but mentioned that I had made a mistake in the article. Oh no had I been telling the details of Marc’s story wrong? What detail was missing? As I read further he informed me that my mistake was I didn’t have 21 sons but that I had inherited all of the 2000 SEALs as sons. I remember thinking, oh my, Christmas is going to be expensive this year.
These Navy SEALs, America’s brave warriors do have a loving, sensitive, caring side too. They have been there for me and the connection and bond that we have will last for a lifetime.
From the first time I heard of the attack and that the Capt was being held as a hostage, I replied to the TV, as if to tell the world the solution. Send in “my boys,” that’s what they are trained for. It will be over in a heartbeat! So it was no surprise to me when I heard that the SEALs had successfully rescued Capt. Phillips, that three shots had been fired, and three terrorists were dead. The rescue had been perfectly carried out just like I knew “my boys” would do it.
As I laid in bed that night thinking about how proud I was of them and their successful rescue on Easter Sunday, I was reminded of another Easter and a rescue plan that was successfully completed. Each one of us need rescued. We are being held hostage by the sins in our lives. The enemy is holding us captive.
We may have just a few terrorists or we may have a Mother Ship filled with the sins that have captured us. They are demanding a ransom. But wait, a rescue attempt has been planned and Christ agreed to rescue us and pay that ransom. He willingly sacrificed His life and shed His blood to pay that ransom for everyone who believes in Him. He was buried and on the third day He arose from the grave. He is alive and he is waiting for you to climb out of the boat and safely into the arms of the rescuer just as Capt Phillips did on Easter.
Can you imagine Capt Phillips sitting in the little rubber boat as his rescuers came to get him out only to hear him reply. Thanks, I’m good, I have it under control. How ridiculous! Yet how often is that your response when people hear about the rescue plan Christ has provided for them?
Marc knew, he knew he was being held hostage by sin, he knew he needed a rescuer, he knew Christ had paid his ransom and His blood had covered His sin. Marc believed and had a relationship with Christ and now is spending an eternity with Christ. I know that if Marc could send an email to each one of you he would say don’t wait, we never know if today will be our last and it will be too late. He would tell us the amazing things that what for us in Heaven and that he wants all of you to make that same choice and believe too.
The rescue of Capt. Phillips by the SEALs, “my boys” has given America a little glimpse of these well trained, almost super human Mighty Warriors who I know and love so deeply and am so proud of.
I know that Marc was part of that rescue that day too. He was providing intelligence from his birds eye view from above. Somehow I think that might be one of the reasons for his re-deployment on Aug 2, 2006. Maybe his new assignment in Heaven is to watch over each one of his SEAL brothers and aid in their continued efforts to take it to the bad guys.
Job well done SEALs, and thank you to all who have served and are serving! You are my heroes!
Please join me on June 13th in DC to thank and honor all of these heroes who serve as we recognize their successes in Iraq with “Victory in Iraq Day” Click on the link below to find out details.