Saturday, April 7, 2007

WTOK Remembering Cpl Dustin Lee

The last thing Jerry Rich expected was to be mourning his 20-year-old grandson. Marine CPL Dustin Lee was killed Wednesday during combat operations in Iraq's Al Anbar Province.

His family is grieving, but they are very proud of the young man they knew. His uncle, Brian Rich, also served in the Marine. Rich said Dustin was more like a little brother than a nephew.

"He was good at everything he did," said Rich. "From riding his motorcycle to baseball to everything. He was just an all around great guy to hang around with, just like a brother."

Lee comes from a family of servicemen. His grandfather served with the 186th Air National Guard. His father is a highway patrolman who served in the Army Guard, and another uncle is with the Meridian Police Department.

"From my understanding talking to Dustin, it was his intention to follow in his father's footsteps as far as law enforcement was concerned," said SGT Ronnie Carter, family spokesman and co-worker of Dustin's father, Jerome Lee. "And I know Dustin, from me talking to him, he loved his family, especially his mother and daddy and brother and sister, Cameron and Madison. So, he was just an outstanding young man and comes from an outstanding family."

Family members say Rep. Eric Robinson of Clarke County was given permission to honor CPL Lee in the Mississippi legislature. A moment of silence was observed in the House and Senate.

"We're going to miss him. We're sad, angry, upset. But we're also proud of him, because he was a good Marine," said Rich.

Lee was scheduled to come home in May. Funeral arrangement for the 2004 Quitman High School graduate have not yet been made.

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