Are You Leaving Your Mark?
By Debbie Lee
Gold Star Mom
Aug 2, 2006, is a day that changed my life forever.
Many of you have those days that you remember that were life changing. For most of us, we remember our graduations, the day we married the love of our life, and the birth of our children. These events will always bring a smile to our face and joy to our hearts. Our lives were greatly impacted and the overall impact has been a blessing. Not that our jobs don't bring frustrations and headaches at times, our spouses at times cause us to question our sanity, and our teenage children sometimes cause us to yearn for the empty nest, but overall we reflect and remember the good times, especially on the birthdays or anniversaries.
The anniversary that I remember today isn't one that your first response is that of blessings and laughter, trust me, I've already shed many tears today.
Today I remember 2 years ago when I received a visit from a Navy Chaplain, bringing me the most dreadful news I have ever received. When you have children [or any other family member] serving in the military, you know that a visit from a Chaplain only means one thing, death.
The loss of child's life, according to the experts, is the hardest death to deal with. I have lost a Father, a husband, and a son, and I will agree dealing with the death of my son has been the hardest by far.
I have spent the morning looking back at pictures from Marc's arrival home in his flag draped coffin, his funeral at Fort Rosecrans, his memorial service in Hood River [Oregon, where he was from], his pictures in Iraq, and his pictures growing up.
While I mourn these two years without his smiling face, his bear hugs, his contagious life and playful antics, I am thankful and remember the 28 years that his life engraved on my heart and left his mark. How many of us can say we left our mark on this world? My Marc left his mark on every life that he met. :O)
As I looked through the pictures this morning I was reminded of all of the people who have touched my life during the past 2 years since Marc's death. God has been soooooooooooooo faithful to me and used so many of you to touch my life in such a special way.
I am so grateful for everyone of you whether your impact has been great or small, whether you are the President, a General or a new born child. I'm not even going to try to list all of you or how you have impacted my life, as this letter would go on forever. Some of you have been there daily, and others may have been a one time encounter. Many of you have prayed faithfully! I know that the way you have touched my life has helped me get through another day, week, month or year. I am so very thankful!
As we reflect on Marc today, let's remember what he gave. Marc gave his laughter, his love, his smile, his faith, his determination, his love for this country, his humor, his love of life, his support, and Marc gave his life.
I know most of you have probably read Marc's last letter home, but I feel it is fitting to include it again today as we reflect on the two-year anniversary of his death. There are also several memorial videos on you tube, just type in Marc Alan Lee.
If any of you have special memories of Marc, I would love it if you would e-mail those to me so that I can remember them forever. [Ed. Note: The link will take you to our contact page. Please submit your stories about Marc there, and we'll forward them to Debbie for you.]
We are a blessed nation to have men and women just like Marc who are willing to give it all for you, for me, for this nation. Those are the heroes of our nation that need to be honored. As I remember Marc today, I also remember all of those who have served in our military, and those who gave it all.
God Bless those mighty warriors, my heroes!
Counting my blessings,
PS: Thank you Marc, for giving it all! You are home son, and I will see you when I get there!
[Ed. Note: Thank you, Debbie, for being such an inspiration to all of us. Marc would be so proud of you!]
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Marc Lee became the first Navy SEAL to give his life in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, standing in the line of fire to create a diversion so a fellow SEAL could be rescued from a Ramadi rooftop.
Gold Star Mom Debbie Lee talks about Courage in the Night, as she visited Iraq and walked in her son's final footsteps.
In Filling a Hero's Uniform, Debbie Lee shares fond memories of her son, Navy SEAL Marc Lee, who gave his life in Iraq to save a fellow SEAL.