Tags: Debbie Lee | Mother of Slain SEAL | martin Dempsey | Ramadi

Mother of Slain SEAL to Dempsey: Ramadi Matters

By    |   Sunday, 19 Apr 2015 09:53 PM

Debbie Lee, mother of the first Navy SEAL killed in Ramadi, Iraq, has penned an open letter to Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey following his assertion last week that the city of Ramadi is "not symbolic in any way."

"My son Marc Lee was the first Navy SEAL who sacrificed his life in Ramadi Iraq Aug 2, 2006. His blood is still in that soil and forever will be," Debbie Lee writes in the letter, which has been posted on FoxNews.com.

Dempsey made the statement at a Pentagon press conference on Thursday, saying that he is more concerned about protecting the city of Beiji, north of Tikrit, from Islamic State (ISIS) militants because of a major oil refinery there.

"The city itself is not symbolic is any way," Dempsey said. "It's not been declared part of the (Islamic State) caliphate or central to the future of Iraq, but we want to get it back. The issue here is not brick and mortar, it's about defeating ISIL (ISIS). I would much rather that Ramadi not fall, but it won't be the end of the campaign should it fall — we've got to get it back, and that's tragic for the people."

Lee was unhappy with those words, writing, "My son and many others gave their future in Ramadi. Ramadi mattered to them. Many military analysts say that as goes Ramadi so goes Iraq."

In addition to the American service members who died in Ramadi, many others lost limbs or suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of their service there, Lee said. Others watched their team members die.

"You sir owe an apology to the families whose loved ones blood was shed in Ramadi," she wrote. "Ramadi matters to us and is very symbolic to us. You need to apologize to our troops whose bodies were blown to pieces from IEDs and bullet holes leaving parts and pieces behind, Ramadi matters to them."

Republican Sen. John McCain also condemned Dempsey's characterization in a statement released on Friday.

"Disregarding the strategic importance of Ramadi is a denial of reality and an insult to the families of hundreds of brave young Americans who were killed and wounded during the Surge fighting to free Ramadi from the grip of Al-Qaeda," the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham later joined the statement.

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Debbie Lee, mother of the first Navy SEAL killed in Ramadi, Iraq, has penned an open letter to Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey following his assertion last week that the city of Ramadi is "not symbolic in any way."
Debbie Lee, Mother of Slain SEAL, martin Dempsey, Ramadi
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2015-53-19
Sunday, 19 Apr 2015 09:53 PM
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