[Editor's Note: In October, Newsmax magazine featured the story of Debbie Lee. Her son Marc, a Navy SEAL, died in combat in Iraq. Now, she travels the country on behalf of MoveAmericaForward.org, speaking in support of the war effort and the soldiers fighting it. Lee emailed Newsmax to encourage Americans to remember those who have given what President Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address called “the last true measure of devotion.”]
By: Debbie Lee
I visited Fort RoseCrans National Cemetery in San Diego yesterday and placed flowers and a flag on my son’s grave.
My Mighty Warrior, Marc Alan Lee, was the first Navy SEAL killed in Iraq 8-2-06.
As I drove in the main gate they had six extra flags at the base of the huge flag pole. The wind was causing the flags to appear as though they were standing proudly at attention.
As I sat on Marc's grave and processed through the different emotions of pride, of love, and emptiness, I glanced up the hill through the rows and rows of marble headstones to the flags that were majestically flapping in the extreme wind.
So many have given so much to make sure that those colors still fly boldly representing "One Nation Under God," and the freedoms that we have in America.
They are freedoms we enjoy because our Vets -- whether sailors, Marines, soldiers or airmen -- gave deeply.
I know the price of freedom and I understand the sacrifices that our troops have given. They have done that for me, for you, for this nation. They didn't do it for rewards or medals or recognition, but today please join me as our nation chooses to remember them collectively, to thank them, and to celebrate who they are and what they have selflessly given.
I choose to do that every day because they are my heroes, and I am so grateful!
I am attaching Marc's last letter home. We call it his "Glory Letter.”
He challenges us to do random acts of kindness and I would ask you, in his memory, to honor our Vets today by picking up the check for their meal, coffee, groceries or whatever you can. Be as generous as you can.
It's a small token of our appreciation for all they have sacrificed. Attend a parade, thank them, shake their hands, and give them a hug from a grateful nation.
Please don't forget those who are deployed. Send a care package, email a card, or check on their families. And please remember the families of the fallen who gave their all. Share your gratitude and love with them.
Thank you to every one of you who has served or who is serving. You are my heroes, and today I celebrate you and honor you for all you have sacrificed and given for me and my freedoms.
Last letter to home, written by Navy SEAL Marc Allen Lee (KIA, Aug. 2, 2006):
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 by 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 of 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 oneself superior to another race?
Surprisingly, we are not strangers 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 than 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 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, 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, 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.
July 4th has just come and gone and I received many emails 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 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…
(P.S. Half way through the deployment, can’t wait to see all of your faces)
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