Kurt Chew-Een Lee

Karalee Huerta, Staff Writer

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Kurt Chew-Een Lee was born is San Francisco on January 21, 1926 but was was raised in Sacramento, California. His parents were both born in China but later immigrated to California in 1920. Later on he had Lee and his brothers.Lee became an inspiration person reason being that he was the first of chinese descendant to join the United States Marine Corps.

He joined the corps in 1944 when he was 18 even though he was small in size but very muscular. He was told to learn Japanese when he first joined. Then became a class professor at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego which disappointed him because he wanted to be out fighting in the war. He eventually graduated officer training school and became a Lieutenant, his first assignment was heading to korea to fight off the north. But him being the first asian american there was questioned about his loyalty. He eventually proved them wrong in the war showing them he was a great leader and skilled fighter. Lee was awarded many medals like the Navy Cross, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, and the Purple Heart. He as well fought in many wars like World War II, Korean War: Battle of Inchon, Battle of Chosin Reservoir, and Vietnam War. He eventually retired in 1968 as a brave strong leader ranked as major. Lee later on passed away at the age of 88 in 2014. He will be remembered as the first Marine to have honored Asian Americans.

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