Mother of Fallen Navy Seal Pens Scathing Letter to General Dempsey

'I am shaking and tears are flowing down my cheeks'

Martin Dempsey
Army Gen. Martin Dempsey / AP
April 20, 2015

The mother of the first Navy Seal killed in Iraq has written an open letter to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff complaining about his recent comments dismissing the importance of Ramadi.

In the letter, Debbie Lee, who lost her son Marc to fighting in Ramadi in 2006, describes how General Martin Dempsey's claim that the city is "not symbolic in any way" made her feel. Dempsey's comments and Lee's letter come as the Islamic State is on the verge of capturing the city, Fox News reported.

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.

Lee said she wants Dempsey to apologize for his comments.

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

Debbie Lee