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Local service honors SEAL Lee

News staff writer

August 16, 2006

Hood River County residents are invited to attend a memorial service to honor a hometown hero on Saturday, Aug. 26.

The ceremony to pay respects to Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Marc Alan Lee will take place at 11 a.m. in the Expo Center. Lee, 28, was killed Aug. 2 while saving fellow SEAL team members during a fierce fire fight in Ramadi, Iraq.

“He left the safety and security of his family to serve his country. He left the security of his position to save the life of his fellow SEALs. He will be remembered as one of Hood River’s finest and one of America’s bravest,” said U.S. Rep. Greg Walden.

“Thank God for courageous patriots such as Marc Lee. Our freedoms depend upon those like him who answer our nation’s call. My prayers are with him and his family.”

Walden, who lives in Hood River, plans to attend the service that blends military tradition with a Christian message. Asst. Pastor Doug Iverson of Calvary Chapel in The Dalles will officiate. State dignitaries joining Walden include Sen. Rick Metsger and Rep. Patti Smith. Gov. Ted Kulongoski is also expected to attend.

The American Legion, First Baptist Church of Hood River and area military families are coordinating the event with Debbie Lee, mother of the fallen sailor, and his older brother, Kris.

Rodger Schock, former county commission chair, is raising money to defray the Lee family’s travel expenses. In December, Debbie moved from Hood River to Arizona after years of running the Kids R Us private preschool and kindergarten.

“This is a very generous community and I think we all want to do something to show our support — and this account offers one way to do that,” said Schock.

Marc was home-schooled for much of his education but attended Summit Christian School (now Horizon Christian School) and played soccer at Hood River Valley High School. He enlisted in the Navy in May 2001 and officially took his place on one of the elite SEAL teams in March 2004.

Lee was killed by machine gun fire while covering the evacuation of two injured SEALs in a battle with insurgents. A Stars and Stripes article published on Aug. 3 described that battle as one of the largest campaigns led by U.S. forces to seek out and eliminate insurgent strongholds in the heart of downtown Ramadi.

Lee reportedly mounted an offensive action as a diversion after one SEAL was hit in the face by flying shrapnel and another was wounded in the shoulder. Two more of his teammates were pinned down by gunfire inside the same building.

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