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thedrifter
08-31-07, 02:07 PM
Greatness forged from war
Posted: August 31, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

This is a story of two stars that burn brightly, one gold and one blue, both bathed in the light of a mother's love.

Marc Alan Lee was 28 years old when he gave his own life to save the lives of others who were trapped in a building that was taking heavy fire.

He was the first Navy Seal to die in Iraq.

As reported by the Blackfive.net military web log, "U.S. Navy officers told his mother, Debbie Lee, that her son died minutes after he single-handedly held off enemy fighters as his team rescued a soldier wounded on a rooftop by a sniper."

Marc was the joy of Debbie Lee's life from the time he was a ball-of-fire toddler, growing into a young teen who had a wicked sense of humor, repeating his jokes to his boyhood pals, while Mom laughed a thousand times at the same punch line.

Debbie home-schooled Marc for many years, but he played soccer with the other kids who went to public schools. Debbie says she clings to the memory that Marc wasn't embarrassed to reach over and kiss her, even if his buddies were watching.

Marc was very determined from an early age, perhaps because no one tamped down his expectations from life, even though Marc's dad passed away and Debbie was raising him alone.

With that spirit, conviction and motivation inside him, Marc Alan Lee seriously pursued his military career since he was a freshman in high school. He watched Navy Seal action movies in darkened theaters during his childhood and admired the image of toughness, pride and patriotism that Navy Seals embodied.

An avid soccer player, Marc was trying out for a professional team in Colorado, but the night before his tryout he blew out his knee. Marc then went through a lengthy recuperation and during this time he did a lot of serious reading about joining the Seals.

So Marc persevered and worked on rebuilding his knee, changing his diet – doing whatever it took to have the physical adeptness to serve the United States of America.

Lots of obstacles were thrown in Marc's way, pulmonary edema and pneumonia among them, but eventually Debbie got to see her son graduate No. 2 in his Navy Seal Class.

As Debbie Lee tells the story of her son, she wants the American people to know that her hero wasn't tricked into going to Iraq.

As he told his mother, "This was the right thing to do, Mom"

The rock of deep emotions of grief and loss weighs heavily in her life, Debbie nonetheless says this: "I think he made the right choice, and I don't regret at all the conversation we had where I backed up his decision to fight for his country.

How could I say "send someone else's son" when this nation was at war?" Debbie asks.

"People may say the terrorists took my son's life, but he willingly gave his life. The men and women of the military write a blank check to the country we love and you fill in the cost, even if that means giving your life," Debbie explains.

She won't be deterred from her efforts to speak out in support of the war effort and the troops fighting to protect America.

"God still has me for a reason, and that is to stand for the guys and gals over there who are in harms way that are willing to defend us and use the voice God gave me to stand up for their defense. Never would I have guessed when I held Marc as a baby that he would become the hero he is. As a mother, my first thoughts about my children were that I be a good enough mother so that nobody's doing drugs, or getting into trouble as a teenager.

"But to then end up with a son willing to die for his country and I got the blessing to be his mom, wow, I've been so very fortunate."

Blue star mom Deborah Johns

Deborah Johns has been one of the most prominent pro-troop spokespersons in the nation ever since the horrific terrorist attacks that brought shock and horror to this nation on Sept. 11, 2001.

She's spoken at hundreds of rallies and pro-troop events across the nation and been a frequent guest on radio and television news programs, explaining why she believes America must persevere toward victory for America and our allies.

"If our son's and daughters are brave enough to sign up and fight for this country then shouldn't we do whatever we can to stand up and support them?" Deborah recently said.

Deborah's son, William, showed an interest in the military and the notion of service and sacrifice practically his entire life. Deborah says that as a young boy, William used to love playing with G.I. Joe action figures and loved to wear camouflaged clothing.

William was a respectful and polite young man, "a good little boy who was a lot of fun to be around," says Deborah.

Despite his affinity for the military, William used to make his mom laugh because he could not bring himself to walk through a puddle of water or mud. He didn't like to get his hands dirty. Ironically, through three tours of duty in Iraq, William has slogged through many filthy slums in service to his nation.

Deborah vividly remembers the day that he decided he was going to fight for his country. In the car one day, William told his mom that they had to go somewhere, and he wouldn't explain what was up until they got there.

The place William wanted to go was to the recruiter's office so he could sign up to become a U.S. Marine. It was in December of his senior year, and the 9/11 attacks had occurred just three months prior. Deborah knew that meant if William enlisted he'd almost surely be going off to war, and she wanted to make sure her son understood what he was doing.

"I want to serve my country," William responded.

William is currently stationed at Fort Benning, Ga., and stands at the ready to go back to Iraq for a fourth tour of duty. His mother stands behind him and all those who are currently serving, and she keeps those who have given their lives in the war effort in her heart, in her thoughts, and in her prayers.

Reaching out America

From Sept. 3 – 15, Debbie Lee and Deborah Johns will lead the "Fight for Victory Tour" – a caravan of vehicles that will travel across the country in a patriotic campaign to rally support for the missions of our troops serving in the war on terror. You can jump in your own vehicle and join the caravan for all, or just part, of the caravan route.

You can also attend one of the 27 pro-troop rallies that will be held along the way. Don't allow these two mothers to do this effort alone. Please stand by their side and join them along the way. You can find out how you can join the caravan or attend one of the pro-troop rallies by going to the Move America Forward website: www.MoveAmericaForward.org

Ellie