Fallen Soldier to be Honored Sunday

American flag

Nathan Larry Lee was eight days past his 21st birthday and a few days from coming home when he was killed in Vietnam in 1971.

Wanda Lanier taking pic of Nathan Lee's pic
Wanda Lanier, sister to the soldier, takes picture of Nathan Lee’s name on the wall.

On Sunday, family and friends will come together to dedicate a monument honoring the Riegelwood man. His name is inscribed on the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C. on Panel 3W, line 33.

Spec. 4 Larry lee (Courtesy of the Virtual Wall)
Spec. 4 Larry Lee (Courtesy of the Virtual Wall)

The service will be at 3 p.m. beside Riegelwood Baptist Church, in a new park that’s being built with donations.

Lee was killed in Quang Tri province on May 11, 1971. He was a Specialist 4 in the Army Reserves, serving with the 1st Batt., 11th Infantry of the Fifth Infantry Division.

The soldier was involved in the controversial “stand down” that started May 1, according to A GI’s Combat Chronology. The change in strategy was supposed to allow a transition to Army of the Republic of Vietnam troops taking the lead in combat missions, as opposed to Americans. Instead, it turned into one of the deadliest years for U.S. forces, with the number of killed and wounded in action exceeding 1965, the first year of ground combat for U.S. conventional forces. A total of 2,414 Americans died in combat or combat-support roles in Vietnam in 1971.

Sunday’s monument dedication is open to the public.

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Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at jeffersonweaver@ColumbusCountyNews.com.