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Army Sgt. Carl W. Lee

Died November 28, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

23, of Oklahoma City, Okla.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Howze, Korea; killed Nov. 28 when his unit was conducting a dismounted patrol and encountered enemy forces using small-arms fire in Ramadi, Iraq. Also killed was Army Staff Sgt. Michael B. Shackelford.

War in Iraq claims another Oklahoman

Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY — Heavy fighting in Iraq has claimed the lives of two soldiers, one from Oklahoma City, the U.S. Department of Defense confirmed Monday.

Sgt. Carl W. Lee, 23, died Sunday in Ramadi, Iraq. His unit was conducting a dismounted patrol when it encountered enemy forces using small-arms fire, the Defense Department said in a news release on its Web site.

He was shot in the upper torso and head, defense officials and family members said.

Lee and Staff Sgt. Michael B. Shackelford, 25, of Grand Junction, Colo., were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division out of Camp Howze, Korea, officials said.

Claudie Lee said she and the rest of the family hadn’t seen her oldest son, a 2000 graduate of Crooked Oak High School, since last Christmas.

“He had some close calls,” Claudie Lee said. “He said he didn’t know if he’d make it home, and he didn’t. We’re still not believing it’s true.”

Lee joined the Army after high school, but was expected to leave after his three-year commitment. Instead, he decided to make the military his career.

Rusty McMurtrey, Lee’s 21-year-old brother, credited his older sibling with saving his life. Lee helped him get away from gangs and also helped him with math in high school.

“He was the reason I graduated school and got as far as I did,” McMurtrey said through tears. “Since I can remember, Carl was the only one who’d been there for me.”

Lee loved being a soldier but didn’t want to go to Iraq, McMurtrey said. The two planned to start their own automotive business, he said.

Lee is one of 133 U.S. service members who have lost their lives this month.

Two more members of Lee’s unit were killed in the Ramadi area on Friday, and at least 12 Americans, including another Oklahoman, have died in combat since Thursday.

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