KIA August 2, 2006
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Assigned to a West Coast Based SEAL Team, San Diego, California
Navy SEAL PO2 Marc Lee died August 2, 2006, during combat operations while on patrol in Ramadi, Iraq. Lee was the first Navy SEAL to be killed in Iraq. On August 2, 2006, Lee and his teammates were supporting an Iraqi Army unit during military operations with Army forces in Ramadi, a site of frequent insurgent attacks. 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.
Marc was home-schooled until his Junior year of high school and graduated from Baptist Christian School in 1996. In 1997, he moved to Colorado to pursue his dream of a career in professional soccer. He was scheduled for tryouts with the Colorado Rapids, but in an indoor match the night before tryouts he blew out his knee requiring surgery on his ACL and meniscus. During his recovery he read about the Navy SEALs and began to research what is required to become one. He decided to attend The Master’s College in California with a major in Law, but always continued his study of the Navy SEALs. In May 2001 Marc went into the recruiter’s office and signed a contract to join the Navy, with the stipulation to tryout for the SEALs. On his initial attempt at BUD/S training Marc fell seriously ill and was reassigned to a later class. On his second attempt he “Rang the Bell” during Hell Week, but Marc overcame the odds and was determined to prove his worth. It took him a year, but he finally got his package accepted to go back to BUD/S. He graduated as second in Class 251. He was deployed to Ramadi, Iraq in April 2006 as part of Seal Team 3.
In his last letter home Marc 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 Marc, “I have seen amazing things and sad things. But being in Iraq,” he added, “makes me realize what a great country we have.”
PO2 Marc Lee was 28 years old from Hood River, Oregon.
Original portrait was presented October 25, 2014 to his mother and family at the American Airlines Sky Ball event in Dallas, Texas.
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