MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- 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.