Sunday, April 8, 2007

MCLB Albany GA remembers Dustin

Base remembers fallen Marine
April 12, 2007; Submitted on: 04/12/2007 07:54:06 AM ; Story ID#: 20074127546

By Mr. Joel C. Guenther, MCLB Albany

Family members and command representatives stand in honor of Cpl. Dustin J. Lee during a ceremony April 5 at the Base Chapel. Those standing are (l-r) Camryn Lee (Lee’s brother), Rachel Lee (mother), Madyson Lee (sister), Jerome Lee (father), Col. C. N. Haliday, base commanding officer, and Sgt. Maj. Randall D. Kennedy, base sergeant major.

MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. (April 12, 2007) -- Servicemembers, employees and family members gathered April 5 for a memorial service at the Base Chapel for Cpl. Dustin J. Lee.

Lee was a K-9 handler here and was attached to 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force in Iraq and on March 21 was killed during combat operations. Lee would have been 21 years old April 7.

During remarks at the memorial service, Master Sgt. Sean L. Lamonzs, chief investigator, Provost Marshal’s Office, said that first-line noncommissioned officers have the most direct leadership in the Marines. He said that he found Lee to be “confident, articulate, and astute.”

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Anthony B. Headrick, command chaplain, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, said that Marines “lay down their lives for those we don’t know.”

Col. C.N. Haliday, commanding officer, MCLB Albany, asked the question, “Why did Cpl. Dustin J. Lee die? More important — how did he live?”

Haliday noted that Lee was an explosives dog handler whose job it was to find caches of weapons and explosives. “These units saved Marines’ lives,” he said.

Haliday also took note of a letter Lee had previously written to a friend. In the letter Lee wrote, “Jesus was willing to give his life for all.”

In a later interview, William M. Reynolds, kennel master, PMO, said that Lee “was uncanny as a dog handler.” Reynolds noted that, at one time, Lee was working with two dogs at once, an explosives dog and a narcotics dog. “He was given that task because of his dog handling abilities,” Reynolds said.

Raised in Quitman, Miss., Lee enlisted in the Marine Corps in December 2003 and was promoted to corporal in July 2006.

Decorations for Lee include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Armed Forces Service Medal, Meritorious Mast and two Letters of Appreciation.
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Family members and command representatives stand in honor of Cpl. Dustin J. Lee during a ceremony April 5 at the Base Chapel. Those standing are (l-r) Camryn Lee (Lee’s brother), Rachel Lee (mother), Madyson Lee (sister), Jerome Lee (father), Col. C. N. Haliday, base commanding officer, and Sgt. Maj. Randall D. Kennedy, base sergeant major. Photo by: Joel C. Guenther

3 comments:

sim said...

God Bless the Lee family and give them peace in their time of grief and loss.

Anonymous said...

I feel badly for the family. I wonder if they have considered that by removing this animal from the war they have now exposed other families to the same possible loss. This dog was trained to detect explosives. Now he is no longer doing that job.

Anonymous said...

I am a police officer/K9 Handler in Northern Illinois. I was so touched and moved by seeing the news of the adoption of Lex by Cpl Dustin Lee's family. I pray that Dustin's partner will bring you some comfort as you grieve your loss.

As you feed, groom, walk, play, and care for Lex, you can rest assured that you are doing the same things that your son and brother did with his partner on duty. The bond between a handler and his dog are very strong, we count on each other every single day, I can only imagine much more so in war than on the streets of our nation. Regardless, know that your hands are doing the same thing that your son's and brother's hands did while they both watched out for their brothers in arms.

You are in my prayers. May God Bless You and watch over you.

Respectfully and with that grattitude of a nation,

Mark Honzel
Rockford, Illinois