By Debbie Gregory.
An improvised explosive device that detonated during a patrol on the outskirts of Mosul claimed the life of U.S. Army soldier 1st Lt. Weston Lee.
The 25-year-old infantry platoon leader was from Bluffton, Ga., was assigned to 1st Battalion, 325th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, at Fort Bragg, N.C.
According to a DoD press release, the Georgia native joined the Army in March 2015, and was killed “while conducting security as part of advise and assist support to partnered forces.”
It was his first combat deployment.
Lee’s death marks the first time an 82nd Airborne paratrooper has been killed in combat since 2014. He was also the first member of the division killed in Iraq since 2011, the year the U.S. formally withdrew all combat troops from the country.
There are now more U.S. forces in Iraq than at any other time since the 2011 U.S. withdrawal, marking an intensifying war as Iraqi forces and the U.S.-led coalition work to push ISIS out of the last pockets of territory the extremists control in Iraq.
Lieutenant Lee, who has been stationed at Fort Benning since March of 2015, graduated from the University of North Georgia and commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the United States Army in December of 2014. While at Fort Benning, he completed the Infantry Basic Officer’s Leadership Course prior to Ranger and Airborne schools. He has recently been assigned to 1-73 CAV, 82nd. Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Lee was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Meritorious Service Medal.
“He was exactly the type of leader that our paratroopers deserve,” Col. J. Patrick Work, the 2nd Brigade commander, wrote in a statement to reporters.
We at Military Connection express our sincerest condolences to Lee’s family and friends, and express our gratitude for his service and sacrifice.