Hometown Heroes - Nathan McGee
Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - A Lake Charles veteran will be remembered in June at a ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The family of Nathan McGee hopes his story will help others dealing with the effects the war had on their loved ones.
“A lot of people from that war, lost their family members immediately,” said James McGee, one of Nathan’s sons. “That we know that my dad’s death was attributed to conditions from that war, but we got to enjoy him for 78 years.”
Nathan McGee, who died last year from complications of being exposed to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam.
“Being a combat medic, he saw and experienced a whole lot of trauma,” said James. " regret a little bit, no I regret a lot, us not pulling more out of him so we could know more about what he did.”
Nathan did get the chance to visit the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC.
“I’m so thankful that he did go to the wall,” said Faye McGee, Nathan’s wife of 54 years. “It was very emotional for him. In fact, when we actually got to the wall, he backed away. He didn’t want to go up and find his friend’s name.”
In recent years McGee contracted Alzheimer’s disease and lung cancer and began living at the Southwest Louisiana Veterans Home in Jennings. He died August 22, 2021, the day after his 78th birthday. He was given a hero’s sendoff.
“It was very emotional,” said Ashley Demarie, Nathan’s daughter. “One of his best friends, Mr. Ratliff, had the honor of announcing dad and talking about dad. Praying over dad. They brought him out with a flag draped over him. Very touching. Very beautiful.”
Because of health issues due to the war, Nathan McGee will be inducted into the In-Memory program at the Vietnam Memorial.
“Being Father’s Day weekend and the first Father’s day (since his death) I think it’s really gonna help with closure and healing and all that,” said Faye.
Despite the horrors he faced in the war, his family says Nathan was always proud of the job he did in Vietnam, helping the wounded on the battlefield.
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