The city of Ramadi may not be symbolic to Gen. Dempsey, but it is to Debbie Lee whose son, Navy SEAL Marc Lee, was killed on August 2, 2006 in Ramadi. He was the first SEAL killed in Iraq.
Ramadi, Iraq 2006 Atmospherics
In 2006, Naval Special Warfare (NSW) was heavily involved in the Iraq War, specifically in Ramadi. Since the fall of Fallujah in 2004, the violent capital of Al Anbar Province, Ramadi, had become an epicenter for insurgency groups. Task Unit Ramadi (TU-Ramadi) was stood up to disrupt insurgency groups and Al Qaeda as part of a bold, new “Seize, Clear, Hold, Build” strategy to establish a series of footholds piece-by-piece in the most heavily contested areas of Ramadi. In the spring of 2006, Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class (SEAL) Marc A. Lee and his teammates from SEAL Team THREE, Charlie Platoon (TU Bruiser) deployed to Iraq and attached to TU-Ramadi, under Task Unit Commander Lieutenant Commander (SEAL) John Willink.
Here is what the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey said that upset Debbie Lee.
The Blaze reported that after reading the entire letter, The Blaze contacted Gen. Dempsey’s office in hopes of getting a response. Speaking with Richard A. Ecker, the director of Community Outreach for the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, we learned the computers in the office were not able to access Lee’s website and since she had just mailed the letter this morning, it would have been impossible for the general or his staff to have seen it.
Here is Debbie’s letter to Gen. Dempsey:
I am shaking and tears are flowing down my cheeks as I watch the news and listen to the insensitive, pain inflicting comments made by you in regards to the fall of Ramadi.
“The city itself is not symbolic in any way” oh really are you willing to meet with me and with the families who have lost a son, daughter, husband, wife, father, mother, aunt, uncle, grandson, or teammate?
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. Remember that was when so many of our loved ones were taken from us. You said that “it’s not been declared part of the caliphate on one hand or central to the future of Iraq.” 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.
What about the troops who sacrificed their limbs and whose lives will never be the same. Our brave warriors who left a piece of themselves in Ramadi. What about the troops who struggle with PTS/TBI who watched their teammates breath their last or carried their wounded bodies to be medevac’d out of Ramadi.
I’ve traveled to Ramadi and visited Camp Marc Lee in 2007. I brought back soil from that city where Marc breathed his last. I interviewed Iraqi General Anwer in 2010 when I returned. I asked him “If you could say one thing to the American people what would you tell them? He paused and with deep emotion said “We will tell our children, our grandchildren, for generations to come we will tell them what Americans have done. There is American blood poured out on our soil.” It seems the Iraqis understand the importance more than you do sir.
You sir owe an apology to the families whose loved ones blood was shed in Ramadi. 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. You need to apologize to our troops who endured the extreme temperatures and battled the terrorists in some of the worst battlefields in Iraq, Ramadi matters to them. They carry vivid memories of the battles and the teammates whose future is gone, Ramadi matters to them.
You and this administration have minimized that Ramadi could fall, now you are minimizing that it is falling, but you Sir WILL NOT minimize the sacrifice my son Marc Lee made or any of our brave warriors!
Awaiting an Apology
Image source: America’s Mighty Warriors