SEAL Team 3 honors teammates killed in Iraq

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SEAL Team 3 honors teammates killed in Iraq



By Gidget Fuentes - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Oct 17, 2007 5:38:00 EDT

SAN DIEGO — In a starkly clean renovated quarterdeck of a building at the naval amphibious base in Coronado, Calif., two Navy SEALs who died in Iraq last year live large in a personalized memorial designed to honor their service and memory.
Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class (SEAL) Marc A. Lee and Master-at-Arms 2nd Class (SEAL) Michael A. Monsoor were killed in separate incidents last summer in Ramadi. On Friday, members of SEAL Team 3 gathered at their team headquarters and formally dedicated the renovated quarterdeck in honor of lost teammates, officials said.
“The new quarterdeck is SEAL Team three's way of displaying our heritage, building esprit de corps and remembering not only Michael Monsoor and Marc Lee, but all the other SEALs who have given their lives for our nation,” Cmdr. Todd Seniff, who commands SEAL Team 3, said in a release issued by Naval Special Warfare Group 1.
A set of silver dog tags adorn a set of combat gear — helmet, rifle, brown desert combat boots, tactical vest and gear, each belonging to the fallen SEALs — that drapes a wooden stand inside a pair of glass cases. A wood-carved Trident special warfare insignia is affixed to each case, the eagle standing its own guard inside the recently renovated building at the oceanfront base.
Accompanying the cases in the quarterdeck are photographs of each of the fallen men, along with framed copies of the Silver Star medal, citation and certificates awarded to them. Various photographs and a large carpet bearing the team’s logo adorn the space.
“Before, it was just an empty room,” said Lt. Tommy Crosby, NSWG-1’s public affairs officer.
Seniff, who took command of the team last year, “wanted to bring them history of the team and let them see their heritage,” Crosby said.
Much of SEAL Team 3’s plaques, photographs and other keepsakes that had been previously displayed were lost or misplaced during the building’s renovation, he said. Former team members have since helped restore some of the photographs. The quarterdeck’s redesign was done in-house, including the design of the large display cases, he added.
Lee, 28, of Hood River, Ore., was killed Aug. 2, 2006, during a firefight in Ramadi as he poured machine-gun fire onto insurgent fighters who threatened fellow teammates. Monsoor, 25, of Garden Grove, Calif., jumped on an enemy grenade that was tossed onto his rooftop sniper’s hideout in Ramadi on Sept. 29, 2006. The ensuing blast killed him, but two nearby SEALs survived.
Lee was awarded the Silver Star posthumously for his actions on the Ramadi rooftop. Monsoor earned his medal for actions he took to protect a wounded SEAL during a battle earlier in his deployment.
Teammates and relatives of the two fallen men attended the ceremony Friday, according to a NSWG-1 news release.
“I imagine a new team member just reporting onboard, walking across our quarterdeck and thinking to himself that something special is going on here at SEAL Team 3,” said the team’s top enlisted sailor, Command Master Chief Bryan Yarbro.
“Displayed here is an amazing tribute to these men who gave everything that they could. The Team really went above and beyond anything I was expecting,” Lee’s mother, Debbie Lee, said in the release.
Monsoor’s mother, Sally Monsoor, said, “You can really see the hard work Mike’s teammates put into this. This memorial stands as a constant reminder of the selfless manor in which these men fight and die for our country.”

http://www.navytimes.com/news/2007/10/navy_sealmemorial_071016/
 

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