Marc Lee, U.S. Navy SEAL,

Petty Officer Second Class Marc Lee, U.S. Navy SEAL, wrote this letter home just after the Independence Day holiday in 2006, demonstrating a wisdom and maturity beyond his 28 years. One month later, Marc became the first Navy SEAL to die in Iraq, , a hero standing out in the line of fire, not once, not twice, but THREE times, to save his buddies. Marc Lee was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his actions that day.

We have had the great honor of getting to know Marc's mom, Debbie Lee, who chose to become Marc's voice and continue spreading his message that our troops believe in their mission and believe that what they're doing is helping to make our world a better place.

We'd like to thank Debbie Lee for granting us permission to share Marc's letter with you, and we ask you to pause for a moment to honor his sacrifice, and that of countless others like him, and their families, as we celebrate our freedom on this 4th of July Independence Day holiday.

We first learned of this letter when Debbie read it to us after a meeting of several troop-support organizations, and we have to admit, we had tears streaming down our face long before Debbie's voice broke, on the P.S. Marc Lee's first sentence is especially poignant now.

Glory is something that some men chase and others find themselves stumbling upon, not expecting it to find them. Either way it is a noble gesture that one finds bestowed upon them. My question is, when does glory fade away and become a wrongful crusade, or an unjustified means which consumes one completely?

I have seen war.

I have seen death, the sorrow that encompasses your entire being as a man breathes his last. I can only pray and hope that none of you will ever have to experience some of these things I have seen and felt here.

I have felt fear and have felt adrenaline pump through my veins making me seem invincible. I will be honest and say that some of the things I have seen here are unjustified and uncalled for. However for the most part we are helping this country. It will take more years than most expect, but we will get Iraq to stand on its own feet.

Most of what I have seen here I will never really mention or speak of, only due to the nature of those involved. I have seen a man give his food to a hungry child and family. Today I saw a hospital that most of us would refuse to receive treatment from. The filth and smell would allow most of us to not be able to stand to enter, let alone get medicine from.

However, you will be relieved to know that coalition forces have started to provide security for and supply medicine and equipment to help aid in the cause. I have seen amazing things happen here; however I have seen the sad part of war, too. I have seen the morals of a man who cares nothing of human life. . . .

I have seen hate towards a nation's people who has never committed a wrong, except being born of a third world, ill-educated and ignorant to western civilization. It is not everybody who feels this way, only a select few, but it brings questions to mind.

Is it ok for one to consider themselves superior to another race?

Surprisingly, we are not a stranger to this sort of attitude. Meaning that in our own country, we discriminate against someone for what nationality they are, their education level, their social status. We distinguish our role models as multi-million-dollar sports heroes or talented actors and actresses who complain about not getting millions of dollars more then they are currently getting paid.

Our country is a great country, don't get me wrong on this, otherwise none of us would be living there. My point of this is how can we come over here and help a less than fortunate country without holding contempt or hate towards them, if we can't do it in our country. I try to do my part over here, but the truth is over there, in the United States, I do nothing but take.

Ask yourself, when was the last time you donated clothes that you hadn't worn out. When was the last time you paid for a random stranger's cup of coffee, meal or maybe even a tank of gas? When was the last time you helped a person with the groceries into or out of their car?

Think to yourself and wonder what it would feel like if when the bill for the meal came and you were told it was already paid for. More random acts of kindness like this would change our country and our reputation as a country. It is not unknown to most of us that the rest of the world looks at us with doubt towards our humanity and morals.

I am not here to preach or to say "look at me," because I am just as at fault as the next person. I find that being here makes me realize the great country we have and the obligation we have to keep it that way.

The 4th has just come and gone and I received many e-mails thanking me for helping keep America great and free. I take no credit for the career path I have chosen; I can only give it to those of you who are reading this, because each one of you has contributed to me and who I am.

However, what I do over here is only a small percent of what keeps our country great. I think the truth to our greatness is each other. Purity, morals and kindness, passed down to each generation through example.

So to all my family and friends, do me a favor and pass on the kindness, the love, the precious gift of human life to each other so that when your children come into contact with a great conflict like that we are now faced with here in Iraq, that they are people of humanity, of pure motives, of compassion.

This is our real part to keep America free!

HAPPY 4th! Love Ya,

Marc Lee

P.S. Half-way through the deployment -- can't wait to see all of your faces.

Let us never forget that it is because of the dedication, honor and sacrifice of men and women like Marc Lee that we have the freedom to live the lives we choose, and to speak our minds without fear of government reprisal.

Thank you, Marc Lee, and thank you, Debbie. You also have given the ultimate sacrifice. A parent can be asked no greater sacrifice than to give up one of their children. We admire you for the grace and dignity with which you honor Marc's service, and your dedication to thanking those currently serving.

Debbie Lee traveled to Iraq the Christmas holidays to personally express her gratitude (and yours) to our men and women in uniform. She donned body armor and a kevlar helmet to walk the streets where Marc took his last steps. What a remarkable woman. Any wonder where Marc Lee got his courage?

Debbie reminds us that Marc's name means "Mighty Warrior." I'd say he lived up to his name, wouldn't you?

And thank you to each and every member of our armed forces, all of whom contribute to our freedom. We hold you in our thoughts and pray for your safe return to your families. Thank you for your service, and for the support of and sacrifice made by your families that enables you to serve.

As we celebrate our freedom this 4th of July Independence Day, we remember and appreciate your service.

Greater Love has no man than he who would lay his life down for his friends. John 15:13

Petty Officer Second Class (SEAL) Marc A. Lee from Hood River, Oregon was killed in action this week while providing cover fire for a wounded comrade on a Ramadi rooftop.

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.

Marc was part of a major operation to clear out terrorists from the center of the city in conjunction with the US Army's 1st Armored Division. According to news reports two other SEALs were wounded during the operation-one severely. My sources in the AO report that the seriously injured frog remains in critical condition and may have lost his sight in at least one eye. I would ask that all B5 readers send a prayer upstairs for this brother of mine and keep Marc Lee's family in your thoughts and prayers as well.

Unfortunately, the SEAL Team's record of no combat fatalities in Iraq has now been broken. Up to this point, we had not lost a man during OIF. A few months ago when I was on active duty for a couple weeks, I worked as a combat medicine instructor with this Team prior to their departure for western Iraq. I had the chance to spend time with many old friends during this trip and we gathered around the keg during family night swapping stories and downing beers just before their deployment. Marc had joined the Teams in 2004 so I hadn't had the privilege of knowing him, but that hardly matters. He was a frogman and therefore a brother and I wish him well on his journey to his final reward.

Marc was awarded the Bronze Star with "V" for his valorous conduct and he will be remembered by all Teamguys for his bravery and sacrifice. When I have information on the memorial services, I will post them.

Eternal Father, strong to save,

Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,

Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep

Its own appointed limits keep;

Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,

For those in peril on the sea.

Eternal Father, faithful friend,

Be quick to answer those we send

In brotherhood and urgent trust

On hidden missions dangerous;

Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee

For SEALs in air on land and sea.

(Our thanks to Military Money Matters for permission to reprint some of this submission. You can find them at