Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Army Spc. Roger Lee

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Roger Lee, 26, of Monterey, Calif.

Spc. Lee was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, Hohenfels, Germany; died July 6, 2010 at Qalat, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device. Also killed were Staff Sgt. Marc A. Arizmendez and Pfc. Michael S. Pridham.

A Monterey soldier was among three killed this week in Qalat, Afghanistan, the Department of Defense announced Friday.

Army Spc. Roger Lee, 26, died Tuesday after the vehicle he was riding in was attacked by insurgents with a bomb, officials said.

Staff Sgt. Marc A. Arizmendez, 30, of Anaheim, and Pfc. Michael S. Pridham, 19, of Louisville, Ky., were identified as the other men killed.

"They were driving from one base to another," Lee's family was told, his niece Catherine Lee, a North Monterey County resident, said Friday.

Roger Lee enlisted in the Army about three years ago, choosing the military over the family restaurant business to fulfill a lifelong goal, according to his family.

"He loved the country and he wanted to fight for freedom," said his brother, Linstun Lee.

Despite knowing the dangers soldiers face, the family supported Lee's decision, his brother said.

"Nobody really questioned it," he said. "We knew the dangers involved with Roger's profession."

Lee was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, based out of Hohenfels, Germany.

He was on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan and kept in touch with his family in Monterey by phone and through e-mail, Linstun Lee said.

"I would tell him to be real careful, be safe, to always think a step ahead," his brother said.

Lee was last in Monterey for Christmas, and it was then that he told his family he would return to Afghanistan.

"That really scared me," his brother said.

During his first tour, Lee survived a bombing of a Humvee. Several other U.S. soldiers were killed in that attack, his family said.

"He was completely unscathed," his brother said. "I said to myself, 'Things happen. That's going to happen once and that's it. He climbed over the mountain. He made it.' I didn't think that would ever happen again."

Lee's mother, Jong Lee, was devastated when she was told her son died, Linstun Lee said.

Lee grew up in Monterey, where his family owns the Chef Lee's Mandarin House. After attending Monterey High School, he moved to Arizona, where he graduated from an auto mechanic trade school.

It was there that he met his future wife, Elvina, who was attending the same school, his niece said.

The couple have a daughter, Jazmyne, who is 5 years old. They were married shortly after Lee enlisted in the Army.

Catherine Lee said her uncle was devoted to his wife and daughter, and they were partly why he joined the military.

"He wanted a better life for his wife and child, some stability," she said.

Lee's wife and daughter were living in Germany while he was in Afghanistan.

Army Spc. Roger Lee was killed in action on 7/6/10.

No comments: