Originally published on May 26, 2008:
Lee Hamilton Deal, formerly of Alexandria and West Monroe, Louisiana.
A comment left by “E. from New York” on Fallen Heroes Memorial:
On the day of his death, Lee Deal saved a marine, a very close friend of mine for over 12 years. If it weren’t for him, my friend may not have survived the extensive injuries that he received. To his family, thank you so very much for sending this hero, this angel, to save my friend. I am so sorry for your loss. Lee Deal and your family will forever be in my prayers.
From the News Observer:
The last time Melanie Deal talked with her son, Lee, was the week before Mother’s Day.
“He had flowers delivered — tulips,” said Deal, who lives in West Monroe, La., about 80 miles west of Shreveport.
During their early Mother’s Day conversation, Deal wanted to know if her son had received the DVDs of the Master’s golf tournament she had recorded for him.
“He was a big golf fan,” Melanie Deal said Monday. “He tried to play every chance he got whenever he was in North Carolina.
Three days after Mother’s Day on May 17, Petty Officer Third Class Lee Hamilton Deal, 23, was killed in Iraq’s Al Anbar province, the U.S. Department of Defense announced Monday.Lee was a Navy sailor assigned to Camp Lejeune. The Defense Department news release ascribed his death to “enemy action.”
He was assigned to Regimental Combat Team-5, I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), and permanently assigned to 2nd Marine Division Fleet Marine Force Atlantic, Camp Lejeune.
In addition to to his mother, Deal is survived by his father, Harry Deal, of Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands, and an older brother, Justin Deal, of Denver.
Lee Deal graduated from West Monroe High School in 2001. He is best remembered among townsfolk as the placekicker for the school football team that won a string of state titles and national championships in 1998 and 2000.
Among Lee Deal’s teammates was his best friend, Andrew Whitworth, a former offensive tackle with Louisiana State University just drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Deal is the third West Monroe football player to lose his life in Iraq.
The summer after graduation Deal tried out as a walk on with LSU and made the team. He decided to join the Navy in what would have been his sophomore year.
“He just wanted more structure, time to mature,” his mother said. “He thought that the armed forces would give him that.”
Deal was deployed to Iraq on March 25. His mother visited with him in Wilmington the week before he left.
“We had lunch on the beach,” she said. “He was funny. A beautiful boy. Maybe I shouldn’t say that because he’s not a girl. But he was extremely handsome.”