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Priorities in Life


And so I found myself awake at 2:29 Friday morning. Unable to sleep, thinking of Marc Lee.

Marc Alan Lee, a brave young man, who made the ultimate sacrifice, on August 2, 2006, while serving with our troops in Iraq. He was 28 years old.

I had first learned of Marc, on Thursday morning, as I clicked onto Big Hollywood to get my daily fix of politics and pop culture. What I didn’t know at the time was that this was a different kind of day at my favorite website. The content and articles printed were dedicated solely to the military and their families.

And so I found myself, reading a letter from one, U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Marc A. Lee.

As a result, my life will never be the same. For the clarity, for the eloquence of his simply stated words, written to his family two weeks before he was killed in Iraq. A powerful letter from a fallen hero.

An additional article from Marc’s mother Debbie, who I had heard speak on Dennis Prager’s radio program, only made it more special. On Thursday, Big Hollywood was the place to be if you care about our troops, who serve our country with great pride and honor, day in and day out.

June 25, 2009 was an eventful day for a few reasons. Besides Big Hollywood participating in Troopathon 2009, it was also the day when music icon, Michael Jackson, passed away. Suddenly, out of left field, from an apparent heart attack at the age of 50.

A major story, with worldwide reverberations, the passing of Michael Jackson on any other day would have probably grabbed a bit more of my attention. No question, Michael Jackson is a music legend whose contributions will stand the test of time. However, as I mentioned, once I became aware of Marc Lee’s story, the death of Michael Jackson seemed to pale in comparison.

I found myself throughout the day staying connected to Big Hollywood. Articles written by some fantastic contributors, Gold Star Mothers and the live stream webcast, from the Reagan Library, were all excellent.

As the day went on, it seemed impossible to get away from the news gathering around what had happened to Michael Jackson. After picking up my son from work, I talked with him about what seemed to be occurring. I understood the magnitude of the event but somehow, the circus like atmosphere going on outside of UCLA Medical Center, turned me off. It was becoming sort of a 2009 warped version of Billy Wilder’s 1951 film, ‘Ace in the Hole‘.

I mentioned to my son about what was going on at Big Hollywood, what I learned about Marc Lee and how it frustrated me that all this attention was being given to a pop icon but not an American hero. Being a good son, he listened and suggested I write something about it. I wasn’t sure if I had anything to say on the subject.

Thursday night, before I hit the hay, I decided to visit the Huffington Post to see what was on their site. Not surprising, a number of stories about the passing of MJ complete with numerous pictures of fans grieving over the loss of the man. Quite the contrast to what had transpired over at Big Hollywood throughout the day.

I thought about what it all meant?

I guess, at the end of the day, what it boils down to is a question of one’s priorities in life.

And so I found myself, up at 2:29 Friday morning, thinking of a brave young man. Looking at his picture. Reading his last letter to his family. A beautiful man. A sweet soul. A proud warrior, who gave his life for his country.

For us.

No matter what the date says, for me, June 25, 2009 will always be the day I came to know Marc Lee.

To Marc and to all the brave, fallen warriors, who gave their precious lives, in the name of liberty and freedom, God bless you. May God watch over your families and friends, always.

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