Corp Bumrok R. Lee

Corp Bumrok R. Lee

Death 2 Jun 2004 (aged 21)
Anbar, Iraq
Burial San Bruno, San Mateo County, California, USA
Memorial ID 14301743 · View Source
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Cpl. Bum R. Lee of Sunnyvale, Calififornia died of wounds received from hostile action. He left for Iraq in February, and was expected to return home in September. Lee emigrated to the U.S. from Korea with his family when he was 4 years old. He enlisted in the Marine Corps shortly after graduating from high school in 2001. His personal awards include the National Defense Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon. For the last three years of his life, Cpl. Bumrok Lee was a United States Marine, proud to serve his adopted homeland. But for 21 years, the Sunnyvale resident was simply Bum—or "Rocky" to some a son, brother, cousin, friend, teammate, inspiration and protector. He would always be there for you when you were down, he was like Old Faithful, a shoulder to lean on. When Lee's sister needed someone to play Scrabble with, Lee played with her on his family's aging Scrabble board. When he forced his friends to watch dramatic Korean movies with him, the hopeless romantic made sure to recite every romantic line to them, so they knew what was going on. After enlisting, Lee served in San Diego, Okinawa, Japan, and finally Iraq. News of his death came as a blow to his family and friends, whose collective breath had been held since Lee was initially wounded on May 29. Lee came to Sunnyvale with his family in November of 1987, where he lived until enlisting in the Marine Corps just after he graduated from Homestead High School in 2001. He grew up in a tight-knit group of five cousins—presided over by his older sister Elis celebrating holidays, playing heated games of Scrabble and raising one another. The title Brother is often spoken when friends and family refer to Lee because he helped everyone, whether it was with tuition payments, girl troubles or history essays. For his real sister, Elis, he was a companion through life, always open and honest. She taught him to drive in their family's light blue Mazda hatchback and was there for him when he got lost and needed directions home from various parts of the South Bay. When Elis went away to UC­Davis, Lee would occasionally send some of his military pay home to support her. Lee attended Homestead High School where he was on the varsity water polo team. Athletics director Paula Weismann met "Rocky" Lee for the first time in an English class she was teaching and remembers his work ethic and calm attitude in class. Weismann said he never caused trouble, as high school boys are prone to do. And in a high school Chen says was full of small cliques, Lee navigated effortlessly through the crowd, making friends with everyone he met. Chen—who was one of the first soldiers into Iraq when the war began—said Lee rose through the Marine Corp ranks faster than usual, achieving corporal status while his friends were still lance corporals, one step below. But even with his success, Chen said Lee remained the same humble, kind, respectful person he had always been. He was 21.

2nd Battalion
4th Marine Regiment
1st Marine Division
I Marine Expeditionary Force
Camp Pendleton, California


MAY 8 1983
JUN 2004

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  • Created by: Elizabeth Reed
  • Added: 16 May 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 14301743
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  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Corp Bumrok R. Lee (8 May 1983–2 Jun 2004), Find A Grave Memorial no. 14301743, citing Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, San Mateo County, California, USA ; Maintained by Elizabeth Reed (contributor 46561848) .