Marines salute fallen corporal - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Marines salute fallen corporal

Corporal Dustin J. Lee Corporal Dustin J. Lee

April 5, 2007

Albany --  A 20-year-old Marine, killed in Iraq last month, is remembered at Albany's Marine Corps Logistics Base. Corporal Dustin J. Lee, a military policeman, died when an improvised explosive device detonated in Iraq on March 20th.

"It's a sad day, but it's a memorial service, so it's also a happy day. We pay tribute to Cpl. Lee's life," says Lt. Colonel Ray Butler.

A life cut short when an IED detonated, killing Lee weeks before his birthday. Dustin Lee, known as Dusty by family and friends, would have turned 21 Saturday.

"I've watched him since he was a little boy. He wanted to follow in his dad's footsteps," says Trooper Ronnie Carter who served with Lee's father on the Mississippi Highway Patrol, and watched the little boy turn into a Marine. "This has been quite a shock. Not only to family and friends, but the whole community where we come from."

Lt. Colonel Ray Butler says Cpl. Lee had one of the most important jobs in the Marine Corps and served his country proudly. "Probably one of the most important duties in Iraq is fighting and finding IEDs."

And Butler says  Lee's service saved lives. He says Lee was "a man of dignity who put his life on the line."

Trooper Carter says, "In my eyes, he's just a good Southern Gentleman, and I'm just thankful for him. I'm thankful for his life and I'm thankful for his sacrifice and I'm thankful for the good memories I have of him and for what he means, not only to me but to the community and I know to the Marine Corps and to the United States as far as that goes."

Cpl. Dustin Lee was a military policeman and a dog handler. His dog was also injured in the attack, but is now back in the U. S. recuperating at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina, and should return to duty.

Lee leaves behind his parents Jerome and Rachel, his brother Camryn, and sister Madyson.

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