Saturday, April 7, 2007

WTOK Article, Cpl Dustin Lee Laid To Rest

Cpl. Dustin Jerome Lee Laid to Rest Cpl. Dustin Jerome Lee, of Quitman, was laid to rest Saturday in Clarke County. Saturday began with a time for remembering Lee at First Baptist Church in Quitman. Friends and family gathered to cry together, laugh together, and just remember their hero...Cpl. Dustin Jerome Lee, a 20-year-old Marine who died in a mortar attack in Fallujah, Iraq. "He spent his life helping people around him comforting them, guiding them, crying with them and making them laugh," said Reverend Chris Cooksey at the service. "Dustin was a man that believed that there was a time for every one of God's purposes." Cpl. Lee is the son of a Quitman school teacher and a Mississippi Highway Patrolman. He was close to some of the other troopers. Sgt. Ronnie Carter said he couldn't help but notice the many things that he and Dustin had in common. "You know, sometimes, in all respects, you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but I learned a lot from Dustin and I have a great respect for him and his memory," Carter said. "I'll always remember him." The father of Dustin's best friend, who was also his pastor at First Baptist, said that as long as he had known Dustin, he had always wanted to either be in the military or law enforcement. "He wanted to be in some faculty that helped people--helped the underdog; help the guy who couldn't help himself" said Reverend Gene Neal. "He wanted to be a part of something much bigger than he was." Col. Chris Halladay is the commanding officer at Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Georgia where Dustin was permanently assigned before being deployed. "Dustin is the finest brother any of could hope to have," he said. Cpl. Dustin Lee was remembered for being a friend to everyone and someone who loved to help other people. His loss is felt in so many different ways of life, by so many different people. Following the service at First Baptist Church, Cpl. Lee's body was taken to Stonewall for burial. The funeral procession, which was hundreds of cars long, was led by law enforcement units from the Mississippi Highway Patrol, the Meridian Police Department, Clarke and Lauderdale County Sheriff's Departments, and others from across the state. All along Highway 513, people with American flags were showing their respect and support of Lee's family. Friends and family of Cpl. Lee paid their final respects before he was laid to rest in the Stonewall Cemetery, not too far from a marker bearing the name of another fallen soldier--Army Sgt. Robert "Shane" Pugh.

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