By Lena Mitchell
Daily Journal Corinth Bureau
NEW SITE – A dedicated young Marine who gave his life a decade ago during Operation Iraqi Freedom will be memorialized when a section of Mississippi Highway 4 East is renamed in his honor on Friday.
Sgt. Jonathan W. Lambert was 28 when he died on June 3, 2003, after suffering injuries from an IED in Iraq.
“He was taken off life support in Landstuhl, Germany, on June 1, 2003, with his wife and me beside him,” said his mother Becky Lambert in a 2012 newspaper interview. “The worst feeling a mother can feel and see is when that switch is turned off and you watch your child leave you. Jonathan’s little daughter turned 2 the next day.”
The young patriot is survived by his mother; his wife, Betty; their daughter, Kinsey Jade; his sister, Misty Eaton; and his father, Johnny Lambert.
Signs along the section of Highway 4 that passes New Site High School in the community where the sergeant grew up will remind the community and passers-by of his sacrifice.
However, online tributes to fallen war heroes offer glimpses of the man so beloved by family and friends.
“My cousin Jonathan was a 28-year-old artist and skateboarder who was on his way home to his wife Betty and his daughter Kinsey Jade,” his cousin Maria Johnson wrote on the website www.fallenheroesmemorial.com.
“Jonathan was a former Eagle Scout, and dreamed of being in the Marines after listening to his uncle’s stories of serving his country in Vietnam.”
Jonathan Lambert himself revealed more of his character in a letter to his hometown newspaper, the Banner Independent, just weeks before his death.
“I was born and raised in Northeast Mississippi,” the young Marine wrote. “I come from a good family. I was raised in a middle-class home in New Site. … I am a Marine. I have been in the Marines for over eight years. It has always been a dream for me to be in the Marines. I love the challenge. I continuously work and sweat for it. I feel that I need to give back to my nation what so many have (given) before me.”
After Friday, the New Site community that Jonathan Lambert credited with his wonderful upbringing will be home to a permanent memorial to honor him.