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Douglas Alexander Zembiec Killed in 2007 />

Major Douglas Alexander Zembiec (picutred, left), United States Marine Corps, had already carved himself a legend by the time he died in 2007, being shot in the head by insurgents during an ambush. He was awarded a posthumous Silver Star for saving 25 Iraqi personnel before his death.

However, according to a report by the Washington Post, Zembiec was actually working with the CIA when he was killed. After having seen action during the Battle of Fallujah, he was awarded the Bronze Star for heroism, while also receiving the Purple Heart for being wounded in action, he sought an assignment that was “at the tip of the spear” according to his mother, Jo Ann.

Zembiec was seeking to avoid a staff position after having served as commander of Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment. During the Battle of Fallujah, at one point, he scaled a tank to help target an insurgent position, even as bullets were ricocheting off the tank. When the tank fired, he was blown off the turret.

“My men fought like lions and killed many insurgents. The valor and courage of the Marines was magnificent,” Zembiec in a letter to his wife. “The Marines fought with such ferocity that any Marine who went before us would have been proud.”

Zembiec was 34 when he died. His wife has published a book, Selfless Beyond Service: A Story About the Husband, Son and Father Behind the Lion of Fallujah, that includes letter he wrote during his service.