Miss. Marine killed in Iraq

Published 6:37 pm Friday, March 23, 2007

A 20-year-old Marine from Clarke County was killed Wednesday in Iraq.

Cpl. Dustin Lee died in Falluja during a mortar attack.

Lee, of the Stonewall community, was scheduled to return home in six weeks. The Department of Defense has yet to release a statement concerning his death.

The Lee family was notified Tuesday of their son’s death by Marine Corp’s officials.

“He was a very focused, intense individual,” said the soldier’s father, Jerome Lee.” He always excelled in everything he set out to do. He had his whole life mapped out.”

Dustin Lee was serving with the 3/14 G Battery, 3rd platoon. He had been in the Marines since graduating from Quitman High School in 2004.

“He was hit in the chest with shrapnel from the blast and was medi-vaced out of the area to a hospital,” Lee said. “He died a little while later.”

Father and son talked the day before the death. Jerome Lee said his son was sounding upbeat and in high spirits.

“Maybe it was the knowledge he was coming home in about six weeks. I don’t know,” Lee said. “But he left me a voice message on my answering machine before he went out on his last mission.”

Jerome Lee played back the message left by his son. In the message, Dustin Lee said he just wanted to call before he headed out and to tell everyone he loved them.

“He said he’d talk to us later,” Lee said.