MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- A Pacolet Mills, S.C., native was honored in a ceremony March 14 for his actions against enemy forces during combat operations in the Iraqi province of Al Anbar.
First Lt. Jeffery T. Lee was awarded the Silver Star Medal here for his actions as 3rd Platoon commander, Company A, 2nd Tank Battalion from Nov. 8 to Nov. 11, 2004 in Fallujah.
Then a 2nd Lt. Attached to Company C, Lee accepted great tactical risk and continued to engage and destroy the enemy for more than 12 hours despite being low on fuel. This decision allowed the infantry company they were supporting to successfully take the battalion’ objective during two major firefights, according to his award citation.
Later, while attached to Company A, Task Force 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, he led an attack on the south side of the city.
“During the initial battle of Fallujah, I was the first vehicle to establish a foothold in the city, and we continued to push forward,” he said.
He was shot in his right arm while heavily engaged with the enemy.
“We were running short on (ammunition), so I reached up out of my tank to get a pop up shot off, and that’s when I got shot in the arm,” he continued. “I felt the shot immediately, so I got back down in the tank and my Marines helped me put a roll of duct tape on my arm to stop the bleeding and continued on.”
Refusing medical attention, he continued to fight the enemy. In spite of his gunshot wound, he pushed the assault two more city blocks to reach the battalion’s objective.
“I didn’t take a lot of time to see the corpsman because there were more important things going on than me,” he said. “My tank could do a lot more damage to the enemy.”
Once they reached the objective, the tank was critically exposed in a courtyard while the infantry established positions in the buildings. He continued to eliminate insurgents who attacked their position.
His aggressiveness and bravery broke the enemy’s will and were critical to the success of the company as it continued to attack the heart of the enemy defenses.
After receiving the award, Lee explained how it felt to receive the Silver Star.
“It feels good, but I just think more of my men,” he explained. “It’s amazing what Marines can do when they’re asked to do it.”
Lee is currently with 2nd Tank Battalion as the Headquarters and Service Company executive officer. To this day, he recognizes his Marines for the job they did in the heat of battle.
“I wouldn’t be standing here today if it weren’t for them,” he said. “My Marines deserve all the credit.”