Debbie Lee – Gold Star Mother
Debbie Lee has been a leading spokesperson for the missions of U.S. troops fighting in the war on terrorism and for their families and families of the fallen. She founded a non-profit, America’s Mighty Warriors in response to her son’s last letter home.
Her son, Marc Alan Lee, was the first Navy SEAL to lose his life in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Marc, 28, was killed August 2, 2006 in a fierce firefight while on patrol against insurgents in Ramadi, Iraq.
U.S. Navy officers told Debbie Lee that her son died after single-handedly holding off enemy fighters as his team rescued a wounded soldier from a rooftop. During the two-hour battle, Navy officials informed her that Marc Lee fired 100 rounds of ammunition against insurgents before he was killed.
As the Portland Oregonian noted, “A Navy SEALs everyday life would reduce most people to sobbing wrecks: extremes of heat and cold, sleep deprivation, the constant specter of danger. It is an existence of late-night phone calls and missed birthdays, while standing watch over the troubled waters of this world so that others may sleep peacefully.”
Debbie Lee has toured the nation, speaking at pro-troop rallies, and helping to organize shipments of care packages to our troops serving overseas. She also made history as the first Gold Star Mother to enter the combat zone and visit the city where her son died. She spent Christmas 07 with the troops in Iraq thanking them and personally handed out 10,000 of the 226,000 Christmas cards collected on the ‘Honoring Heroes at the Holidays’ National Tour. Christmas 08 was spent with the troops in Guantanamo thanking them and sharing gifts and cards with them.
She has met numerous times with President Bush and pledged her commitment to use her voice to make a difference in America’s effort to support our troops. She has also met with Gen Petraeus thanking him for his faithful service and wise leadership. She is a favorite on Radio and TV having conducted over 500 interviews.
She appeared onstage at the 2007 Country Music Awards where Tim McGraw presented to her and other Gold Star Parents his new song, “If Your Reading This” which honors those in the U.S. military who gave their lives in service to this nation.
Her tireless love and support for our troops is reflected in the years of full-time volunteering as she stands behind those who have stood to defend her.