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Home » News » Kathy Lee, A Hero To Veterans, Needs Your Help

Kathy Lee, A Hero To Veterans, Needs Your Help

Kathy Lee, A Hero To Veterans, Needs Your Help

July 21, 2014

Kathy Lee holding a bracelet made from parachute cord that was left at the
Wall that Heals traveling exhibit of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Blue Springs, 2010.
Kathy had stopped to place a red rose by her friend, Sharon Lane name.
Tribune photo/Linda Ahern

By Linda Ahern

Vietnam veteran and nurse, Kathy Lee, has dedicated her life to aiding veterans as a Service Officer for the Kansas City VA Medical Center and Past Commander for the 5th District VFW. Now, she is in need of a bone marrow transplant, which will require that she and her husband Don travel to Nashville for a minimum of four months. 

The VA will pay for Kathy’s expenses, however, her husband will need to pay for his meals, gas, and other incidentals while in Nashville.

Additionally, a bone marrow match has not yet been found for Kathy. 

Kathy began leaving her mark when she joined the Army Nurses Corp to receive the financial aide she needed to finish her nursing education. She graduated in 1967 and was sent to Walter Reed Veterans Hospital in Washington DC.

In 1968, Kathy volunteered to go to Vietnam. She was sent to Chi Lai and the 312-91st Evac. She was assigned to a ward that housed Vietnamese soldiers. Kathy was soon transferred elsewhere and was replaced in the ward by Sharon Lane.

The Viet Cong destroyed the ward on April 19, 1969. They feared that the injured Vietnamese would divulge Viet Cong secrets or the terrible treatment they endured. Sharon Lane was killed, along with the Vietnamese patients, making her the only woman veteran killed in Vietnam due to hospital action.

Kathy returned home in December of 1969 as a member of the Reserve Unit. In 2000, she was asked to serve as Service Officer at the KCVA. The KCVA has processed the highest number of veteran claims in the state of Missouri.

Kathy is a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 317, the VFW Post 30 and its Auxiliary in Blue Springs. She also serves as Past Commander for the 5th District VFW.

Kathy always says that the Veterans fought for our freedom, and the nurses that served were there to save lives.  This time the shoe is on the other foot and Kathy needs your help to save her life. 

There are several events planned in the next few weeks to try to find a bone marrow match for Kathy.  VFW Ladies Auxiliary 30 and BPOE #2509 – Blue Springs are hosting a bone marrow donor drive on July 26, 2014 from 8-12 a.m. at the Blue Springs Elks Lodge, 100 NE Brizendine Rd, Blue Springs, MO 64014.

All that is needed is a swab of the inside of your cheek. Coffee and doughnuts will be served.

A second bone marrow donor drive will be held on August 9, 2014 from noon to 5 p.m. at VFW Post 5789, located at 329 SE Douglas, Lee’s Summit, MO 64063. 

This drive is sponsored by VFW Ladies Auxiliary 30 and VFW Post 5789 and its Ladies Auxiliary.  

All potential donors must be between the ages of 18 and 59. 

Following the bone marrow drive on August 9th, a dinner and dance benefit will take place at VFW Post 5789.  A dinner of chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, corn and a roll will be served.  The dinner will run from 5 – 7 p.m. and costs $10.  After dinner, from 8 p.m. to midnight, Country Rick and the Barnyard Playboys will be providing live music and a dance for $5.

All proceeds will go to Don and Kathy Lee to help cover his expenses while they are in Nashville.

If you cannot attend but would still like to make a donation, please visit
or mail a check to:
VFW Ladies Auxiliary 30
33804 E Nebgen Rd
Oak Grove, MO 64075

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