Vietnam Veteran Remembered As Kind, Proud American

Friday, September 21st 2012, 5:41 pm
By: Craig Day

Another of Oklahoma's own survived the war he served in, but suffered the effects of battle long after he returned home.

Hubert Lee recently passed away.

Now his sister is sharing Lee's story, as a reminder to always honor the sacrifices of veterans present and past.

He was "a kind person, a very kind person, Nita Thorp said.

Thorp is mourning the loss of her brother.

"Oh, he was just so extremely proud to be a sailor," Thorp said.

Lee joined the U.S. Navy out of his southwestern Oklahoma high school and eventually ended up in Vietnam.

"He decided [serving his country is] what he needed to do," Lee said.

While in Vietnam, Thorp says her brother was exposed to Agent Orange, a chemical defoliant used to thin out the dense Vietnamese forest which made U.S. military men vulnerable to attack.

She said that's what led to lingering health problems like heart disease over the years and eventually the blood cancer that killed him Sept. 1.

"He was in the hospital this last time for a month, before he just couldn't fight it anymore," Thorp said.

Lee, who spent 24 years serving his country, will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Thorp will miss him terribly.

"Very proud of him," Thorp said.

Although it's been nearly 40 years since the Vietnam war ended, she doesn't want anyone to forget those who served.

"Should never forget what they did -- should never forget them," Thorp said.

And she said people should always remember the sometimes long-term health sacrifices made by those who served in Vietnam.

"I think it's very important that they know not only were they killed in Vietnam, they were killed at home."