Kevin Lee

Profile Updated: June 13, 2020
Occupation United Airlines
Military Service USMC  
Comments

I enjoyed the last reunion. It was good to see many of you. Unfortunately I was the shy type back in high school. So I didn't get to know some of you. Yet, it was good to see all of you.
It was my first reunion, and maybe my last. I probably will be moving back to Japan in the future.

This last March of 2020, my wife passed-away. I still want return to Japan. My wife and I had planned to do missionary work there. I still want to that.

School Story

I was the shy, quiet one. Was on the Wrestling team, and proud to be under Coach Kyle.

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Jun 13, 2020 at 7:56 PM
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Aug 26, 2019 at 10:29 PM
Kevin Lee posted a message. New comment added.
Feb 21, 2019 at 7:11 PM

Posted on: Feb 21, 2019 at 6:51 PM

Wayne,
Guess the gun show was in Amarillo? Is there any way (that you know of) to order one of these T-shirts?

Kevin Lee posted a message.
Aug 01, 2017 at 12:44 PM

Gary,
Hello. I live not to far from you, I live in Kingwood.

Kevin Lee added a comment on his Profile. New comment added.
Nov 16, 2016 at 5:31 PM

Posted on: Nov 16, 2016 at 5:31 PM

Kevin Lee posted a message.
Oct 26, 2016 at 2:07 PM

Conrad,

Even though I never knew you that well back in HS, it was good to see you again at the reunion. It was even more interesting see you a week later at the airport here in Houston.
It is not a small world, but it is a very, very small world.
Truly - it was good to see at the airport.
Take care.

Kevin Lee posted a message. New comment added.
Sep 26, 2017 at 11:22 PM

Posted on: Oct 20, 2016 at 5:30 PM

Houston was the option for my wife. The dry heat did not do well with her. I retired from the military in `99, lived in Arkansas for 2 years. Got tired it there, wanted to move back to Texas! I was thinking of Dallas area, but my wife researched and found out that Houston was cooler than Dallas on the average. So here we are.
You have your own business? What exactly is it? The word "Organic" stood out.
I work at Bush Airport for TSA.

Kevin Lee posted a message.
Aug 10, 2016 at 7:11 PM

Sherrie,
I never knew that you were a police officer, if I had, I would have given you a copy of this (below). I wrote it some years ago.


Cops

Police of many types
All have basic purpose
Public service and protects.

Many duties of why’s
Safety to traffic
Arresting bad guys.

Bad boys sought
Have no hope
You will be caught!

They answer the call
Life on the line
Not knowing the all.

© Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee posted a message.
Aug 10, 2016 at 7:07 PM

Thanks for all the great work that you and the others did. I am glad that I went. Like I told everyone, this my first reunion to attend and probably my last. So it was so good to make up for last time in not seeing everyone in 40 years and make up for the 3 years lost in not getting to people at our high school. Thanks again.

Jul 26, 2016 at 6:18 PM

Brent,
I was in the Corps too. When did you join and where were you stationed at?
Good to hear that some others out of our class joined. I believe it was a total 4 that joined the Marine Corps from our class.
Are you making it to the reunion?
Semper Fi

Kevin Lee posted a message. New comment added.
Oct 20, 2016 at 3:30 AM

Posted on: Jul 10, 2016 at 2:14 PM

Steve - Hello, don't know if you remember me. We did a project together in the psychology class. We meet a few times after graduation. Drop me line if you get a chance. k_lee76@yahoo.com

Kevin Lee posted a message. New comment added.
Jul 12, 2016 at 7:53 AM

Posted on: Jul 10, 2016 at 2:05 PM

Greg - Happy Birthday. See you soon.

Kevin Lee added a comment on his Profile.
Jun 04, 2016 at 9:24 PM
Kevin Lee posted a message. New comment added.
Jul 30, 2016 at 11:36 PM

Posted on: May 17, 2016 at 10:04 PM

Reed,
Noticed you joined the Corps too. Who was your recruiter? When did you enlist? What was your MOS? Where were you stationed at?
Semper Fi

Kevin Lee posted a message.
May 07, 2016 at 9:03 PM

Cari,
Thanks for your compliment. I truly covet those. Thanks.

Kevin Lee posted a message. New comment added.
Aug 01, 2016 at 2:28 PM

Posted on: May 05, 2016 at 11:24 AM

Accept A Marine Or Not?

1. Public Setting
As I stepped through the door exiting the mall, it was a typical sunny day in southern California. I stopped to check my watch to see how long I would be waiting for the bus; it would be about a 10-minute wait. The bus stop was about 50 feet away from the mall’s entrance door and it was on the far end of circular wall about 3 feet tall that had flowers, rocks and other plants with inside of the circle wall. The bus stop consisted of a bus stop sign, and two benches. The area was full of people, the benches were fully occupied, some people were sitting on top of the wall, and there was group of teenage girls sitting on the sidewalk. As I walked towards the bus stop, I passed the group of teenage girls. Since the bench was full, I decided to sit on the wall, just a few feet from the bench. As I looked around, there must have been 15 or more people waiting for the bus too.
After a few minutes of waiting, a ‘screech’ rang out from where the teenage girls were. Naturally, I looked in that direction as did everyone else. Seeing that nothing was wrong with the girls, I turned my head back. Then one of the girls looked at me and yelled out, “What are you looking at, you dumb Jarhead!” I ignored her, not wanting to start any problems. I noticed the lady on my left, whom was sitting on the bench, looked at the girls with an expression of disgust while shaking her head. The girl that had chastised me was murmuring to her friends about me.

Although everyone there had looked at the girls when the one made a loud screeching sound. Yet, that one girl singled me out for scorn, just because I was in the military. Since I had a Marine Corps regulation haircut and of my young physique, I stood out in the small crowd of people.





It was a cold December night in Amarillo; I was standing in line at a movie theater. After few seconds, I realized that I knew the man in front of me; we had graduated from the same high school, in the same class year. He was with a beautiful lady by his side, I politely interrupted them to say hello. His face showed a surprise look for a brief moment and then he shook my hand and said, “Hello”. He then introduced his girlfriend. He then starting asking me about the Marine Corps, what was Boot Camp like, how I liked it the Marine Corps, where was my next duty station? His conversation was directed to questions about me. I was barely able to get in any questions to ask about him. This was interesting, because in high school we barely knew each other, only by name and face and not much more than that. This was the most we had talked during all those years we knew each other in school.
After he had purchased his tickets, he turned around to me and said, “Here”, as he held out his hand with a ticket. I asked, “What?” He said, “It’s a ticket, take it”. I said, “No, that’s ok, thanks any way”. “Go ahead; I already bought it, go ahead”. Still surprised some what, I reached out and took the ticket and said, “Thanks”. His girlfriend was holding his arm tightly and smiling. “Take care were ever you are going”, he said. His girlfriend looked at me, still smiling and said, “Nice meeting you, take care”. I told them bye, then they turned around and went inside the theater. I stood there in the cold, a little surprised, looked at the ticket for a moment, before going inside to watch the movie.
I do not remember what movie I saw that night, but I do remember the kindness from my fellow high school classmate. I have since forgotten his name, and I have not seen him again since. Yet, his action of small kindness will stay with me the rest of my life.

2. BUS

While driving around the Santa Ana area, California on a Friday afternoon, my car began to have mechanical problems. Fortunately there was a mechanic shop nearby, so I pulled in to have it fixed. After the mechanics inspected my car, the manager then told me it would be a few days before it could be repair it. I had no choice but to leave it there to be fixed. This meant that I had no transportation, so I walked to the nearest bus stop for a ride back to my base. The bus stop was in a residential area; it was simply a posted sign on the sidewalk, there was not a bench to sit on, so I had to stand the entire time. I was not familiar with this area and I did not know the bus schedule for this route. So I did what was natural when someone is bored, waiting for an unknown bus on the sidewalk, and cannot sit down; as I shuffled around some, kept looking at the ground, my watch and down the street hoping to see a bus. I had been doing this for a few minutes, when I looked towards the house directly behind me. There was an elderly man standing on his front porch and looking straight at me. I nodded my head at him in hello type gesture. He kept looking at me without responding to my gesture. His look was of a suspicious expression and anger, I immediately recognized his look; it was the same expression from the local southern Californian’s that had treated me with disdain since I was a Marine. I obtained a military regulation haircut that morning, I easily recognizable as military serviceman. He then walked off his porch to the corner of his front yard, and stopped about 5 to 10 feet away from me. He looked down at the ground and then looked at me. He did this several times, and each time his face had an expression of anger. I then realized that he was looking at a small flowerbed in his yard. He must have thought that I had probably done something to his flowers. I returned his stern look and turned around. I did not look back at him during the rest of the time that I waited for the bus. I only watched for the bus and looked at my watch.

This man must have really thought that I had done something wrong to his property. Even though there was nothing wrong or any visible damage to his flowers. I had never set a foot in his yard. What did I do?





While I was stationed in Hawaii, my younger brother decided to get married. We could not afford a flight to Texas on any commercial airlines, so my wife and I signed-up for a “space A” flight. These are flights where military personnel and their dependents are allowed to fly on military flights going their way, if that flight is available with open seats. We caught a flight from Hawaii to the Air Force base at Abilene, Texas. The plane landed during the night. From the air base, we got a ride to the Greyhound bus station. We were hungry by the time we got to the bus station. The cafeteria was replaced with food vending machines, so we passed at eating from those machines. We arrived at the Greyhound bus station in Amarillo the next morning, and were relieved to see that they still had a cafeteria and it was open. We decided to get some breakfast before I called my brother to pick us up.

I was still in my uniform. While we were in line for our food, I noticed an elderly man looking at me. As I sat down at the table, he approached us and started talking to me. He asked about where I was stationed, what it is like in Hawaii, how things are going with me. It was just a basic small talk. He then realized that I was trying to eat, so he told me to take care and left. My wife asked, “Who was that”? I told her, “I don’t know”. She then had a surprised look and said, “He talked to you like he knew you”. I paused for a few seconds, thinking about what she had just said. Then I said, “Yeah, he did. Some people here are like that.”


3. PULL OVER

If you have ever been at down town Oceanside, California, you know that it can be congested area at times. Especially, on a military payday weekend. Reason being, Oceanside is the town outside of Camp Pendleton. That is exactly what it was like on one certain Saturday afternoon as I was coming up to an intersection. The light had just turned yellow, the car in front of me speed-up to make it through the intersection. Using some quick judgment, as how I had been trained, I knew that I could make it in time. So I followed the car in front of me. As I crossed right into the intersection, I looked up at the traffic light; it had just changed to red as I was underneath it. Then all of a sudden, I noticed in my rear view mirror that a police car pulled up behind me with his lights flashing. Since it was so congested on the main streets, I decided to turn right at next intersection and find a place to pull over. Just as I was approaching the intersection, a policeman standing outside on the sidewalk starting motioning to the driver in front of me to turn right. By his frantic motions, it seemed important. So the driver in front me turned right and I followed. There was a parking lot on the right side, the car in front of me pulled into it and I parked next to that car.

I got my vehicle insurance and drivers license for the police officer. The policeman that pulled me over came to my car door and politely asked me to get out of my car with my insurance and drivers license. I did so and we walked to the back of my car. I saw the driver of the vehicle that was in front of me; she was a fellow Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton too. She was arguing with the other policeman, the one that had been waving at her to pullover. The policeman that had pulled me over, asked, “Do you know why I pulled you over”? I was thinking that it was pertaining to the traffic light, but not for sure. I responded, “No, not for sure”. He then said, “You ran through a red traffic light”. I told him, “No sir, it was yellow when I went through it”. He then looked at me eye-to-eye with a stern look, and said, “No, it was red. I saw it and you drove through it”! There was no way that I could convince him and I did not care to get in an unnecessary argument. I forced my self to shut-up. As he was looking at my paperwork and writing the ticket, the young female driver was still arguing with the other policeman. She did most of the arguing while that officer was looking at her paperwork, drivers’ license and writing the ticket for her. As he started to write her ticket, she seemed to argue more sternly. Interesting part, she never yelled at the policeman that I can recall. The policeman that I was talking to handed me my driver’s license and insurance papers back. He then handed the ticket for me to sign. He said, “It’s not admittance guilt, just that you are receiving the ticket”. I read it and then signed it and passed it back to him. He then handed me my copy. Then his focus shifted to the other policeman and the female Marine. That officer was trying to hand the ticket to her for a signature. She said, “No, I won’t sign it, I didn’t do anything wrong”! The policeman said, “It’s not admitting any guilt, just that you’ve acknowledge of receiving it”. Again, she said, “No”. He then told her, “Signing it doesn’t mean admitting guilt. You have to sign it, if you don’t, I’ll have to arrest you”. This only seemed to anger her more. She strongly said, “I didn’t do anything wrong”. Both officers started to reach for their handcuffs on their belts. I then said, “Hey, it doesn’t mean you’ve admitted guilt. Just that you’ve received the ticket and will go to court.” Then I showed her my ticket and said, “See I’ve signed mine”. She looked at me for a few seconds, then took the ticket from the officer and signed it. That was a feeling of relief, especially for the policemen. They both gave me a look like they wanted to thank me, but did not say one word or an expression. I then I got back into More…my car and drove away.





About 4 months later, I was home on leave in Texas. One early evening I was driving to pick-up my brother. I was in a hurry because I was late when I left. As I was speeding down one of the streets, I missed seeing a policeman, but he definitely did not miss me. Well, he was quickly on to me like ‘flies on honey’, with his lights flashing. So I pulled over into a parking lot. The policeman walked up to my window, and in professional manner asked me for my insurance and drivers license. After I handed them to him, he asked me, “Are you in the military”? I said, “Yes, I’m home on leave.” He then asked me for my military ID, which I gave him. He told me, “Wait here, I’ll be back”, still in a professional and straight tone. He walked back to his patrol car and sat down inside. As I looked in my rear view mirror, I could see him writing something for along time. I knew for sure that I am going to get a ticket, and this will increase my insurance. After a few minutes, he walked back with my paperwork and something else in his hand. He gave me back my paper work and said, “Sir, sign this please.” I did not look at it first; I just signed it and passed it back to him. He tore one of the copies off, gave it to me and said, “Have a good day and drive carefully”. I then looked at the paper still thinking it was a traffic ticket. To my surprise, it was not. The top of the paper said, “WARNING TICKET”. It was an official warning, not a traffic ticket. No fine, just a written warning. What a relief. No penalties on my car insurance.

Years later, I was home on leave again after fulfilling a year on an overseas tour. As I was driving down a busy street at night, when suddenly there were the flashing lights from a police car right behind me. It was obvious that they wanted me to pull over. So I pulled over to nearest area, a Burger King parking lot. After I pulled into the parking lot, the two policemen approached my car; one walked towards me and the other officer was walking on the other side of my car. I am still unsure to as why they pulled me over. I knew that I was not speeding or driving recklessly. The officer that was driving came up to my window, and asked me for my drivers’ license and proof of insurance. As I handed it to him, he asked me, “Sir, do you know why we pulled you over?” This always seems to be a policeman’s opening line. All along, his partner is on my passenger side looking in the back of my car with a flashlight and observing me. “No sir”, I told him, “I don’t have any idea.” He told me, “Your right brake light is out.” I informed him that the car is my brother’s and I was not aware of it and he probably is not knowledgeable of it either. He asked me what I was doing and where I was going. I told him, “I home on leave and going to see a friend.” The officer then asked me for my leave papers and military ID. I gave them to him; he then passed them on to his partner and told him to run a check on me. The second officer took the items and sat down inside the patrol car. I could see him talking on the radio. While we were waiting, the first officer kept making small talk with me. After a few minutes, the officer inside the patrol car came out walking towards the officer that was talking to me. I was thinking, “That was pretty quick.” He had handed the paperwork to the first officer and said, “He’s OK”. He then passed the papers and ID back to me. Looking at me with a grateful look and said, “Take care and get that brake light fixed as soon as possible”. I replied, “Not a problem”, and then drove off.

4. HIROSHIMA

My second tour overseas put me in mainland Japan, the main island of Honshu. My base was south of Hiroshima. After being there a little less than a year, my command was giving some personnel a weekday off on an occasional basis. My turn came up along two others, where we were given the same day off. I was just planning on relaxing and do some local site seeing. When one of the other guys mentioned about going to Hiroshima; because he had been there before, the other Marine and myself agreed to go also. The one that had been to Hiroshima before, said that he had a Japanese friend whom was a conductor for one of the ‘Bullet trains’. His friend had told him to contact him if he ever came back to Hiroshima.

Early that morning we boarded a train at Iwakuni, Japan for a non-stop ride to Hiroshima. While still on the train, I remembered that in a couple of weeks it would be the anniversary of when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. I started imagining that we would be meeting by protestors throughout the city. My mind was full of thoughts of angry Japanese shaking their fist and yelling, “Yankee go home”, like you see in the movies. After we departed from the train, we walked to the coffee shop next door, while our companion called his friend. We sat down at little table next to the window and with me sitting closest to the window. It was typical downtown setting on a weekday. High rise buildings with some smaller buildings, and people moving about outside. About ten minutes after our friend called his friend; I was sipping my coffee, something caught the corner of my eye. I looked in that direction; it was Japanese man, in his mid-20’s running at a full sprint. I seriously thought the police were chasing him. He was running up to the building we were in. Through the window I could see him run up to the entrance of the door of the coffee shop that we were in. Then suddenly, he appeared inside the coffee shop, standing at the doorway and trying to catch his breath. At the same time he was looking around as though trying to find somebody important. He and my friend noticed each other the same time. My friend waved at him and the Japanese gentleman came over to our table. He introduced us to his Japanese friend. Now to this day, I do not remember his name, so I will call him Hiro. In which is a common name for Japanese men. At first I was a little surprised at Hiro’s action to hurry and get to our location; but as I started to think about it some more, I remembered the kindness and hospitality in many of the Oriental cultures. It will sometimes be even stronger with friendships of foreigners. Hiro sat down with us and was asking us where we would like to visit. We really did not have any special place in mind, since two of us had never been to Hiroshima before and did not know the city area. The only place I could think of was “Peace Park”. This was the location of ‘ground zero’ when the atomic bomb had exploded. That site had been turned into a memorial park and museum. Hiro agreed and told us that he would take us there and some other places too.

We went outside and Hiro flagged a taxi. We all got inside in went to parts unknown to me. After about 15 minutes of driving, Hiro told the taxi driver to stop; we got out and offer to split the cab fare with Hiro. He refused to accept any of our money and strongly insisted that he pay for the taxi ride. This is a common hospitality found in East Asia. This vicinity had taller buildings, I was guessing that these where office buildings, and presuming this was the down town area. Hiro took us inside, they ended-up being different department stores. So we did some ‘window-shopping’, checked-out the suits and electronic items (stereos, radios and cameras), and bought a few items. We later left the stores, walking down the street, following Hiro, and really not knowing what site was next. We later walked right into a park. I then realized that it was “Peace Park”. It was a ‘once in a life time’ feeling to be at ‘ground zero’. The area was green with bushes, trees and grass. It did not look like the spot where an atomic bomb had been detonated. To some extent, it looked somewhat as a botanical garden, because all the bushes and trees had tags of their species names with Japanese and English writing. Now, nearby was a building that survived the atomic explosion. There was some outer damage, but it was mostly intact. It was left as it was, as a memorial. I wanted to go inside, so Hiro inquired if we could go inside. He was informed by one of the park employees that it was not opened to the public. As Hiro was telling us something about the area, I noticed nearby that a group of schoolboys with their teachers on a field trip. They looked as though they were probably kindergarten or first grade students. Then one of the boys saw us, he pointed at us and said something in Japanese. They suddenly ran up toward us and surrounded us. The first thing I thought of, “What are they going to do, hit us in our knee caps?” This popped into my mind, because I had heard of the stories of protestors on the anniversary of the bombing. They just looked at us for a few seconds. Then the one closest to me, and was the same boy that pointed at us, asked me, “Are you American?” I said, “Yes”. He then put his hand up for me to shake. I was shocked, but I did not hesitate to shake his had. When I did, he had a smile that obvious made his day. Then suddenly, all of the other boys had their hands up and wanting to shake our hands. The three of us started shaking hands with all of them. Some of them even shook hands with us more than once. After they were satisfied, they started walk away, and their teachers came up and told us thank and bowing courteously. Now, the teachers kept telling us, “Domo arigato”, that is thank you in Japanese and kept bowing multiple times. This being my second tour in Japan, I knew that they ‘really’ meant what they were saying, and not just “going through the motions”. As the boys and teachers left, I had an overwhelming feeling that I had never felt. It was a feeling that shot through out my body. It was an unexplainable sensation of gratitude. Yet, I felt undeserving of it because I had not done anything of great importance. I stood there frozen in astonishment, and watch the teachers lead the boys away. One of my friends said something about that being interesting and great. I paused for a second and said, “Yeah, it is.”

We then headed towards the museum. The inside was mostly photos of the area after the atomic blast and displays. The Japanese people inside where pleased to see my friends and myself as we toured the museum. Nobody displayed any hostility or unfriendliness towards. They all looked at us, but they bowed and smiled at us the entire time. After touring the museum, we told Hiro that we were hungry. He said, “Let’s go”. Hiro lead us to, of all places at a McDonald’s hamburger restaurant. The place inside was so small that there was only room for the ordering counter, no tables or chairs anywhere. As I am waiting to order, I was asking myself, “Where are we going to sit”. Hiro was standing in front me, he turned around to me and said, “Order, please”, as he pointed towards the cashier. I placed my order, and started to pay the girl for my food. She said something in Japanese, waved her hand in a negative gesture, and then pointed to Hiro. He had told her that he would pay for our meals. I told Hiro, “Thank you.” He responded, “Your welcome.” I was the last one in line to get my order. My friends and I were standing and holding our trays of food, looking around the area with a puzzled look because there was not any place to sit down. We then heard Hiro calling us; he was motioning his hand to follow him. There was a stairway at the back wall, just around the corner from the cashier. We had missed seeing it earlier. Once we reached the second floor, it was full of tables to sit down at. We also noticed a table of about six Japanese girls. They were about college age. Hiro was leading that way; he quickly put his tray on the table adjacent to the girls. So we follow and sat down at the same table with Hiro. Hiro immediately started talking to these young ladies, he was trying to get us dates with them that night. They politely refused, I do not remember why. It did not matter any way, because we had to be back at base that night. Yet, Hiro was persistent in trying to get them to date us that night. As we ate our burgers, we could only chuckle to see Hiro play the matchmaker role.

We spent the rest of the day sight seeing so many other places. Hiro would tell us the history of a location or the significant of building or place. Later on in the afternoon, we realized the need to hurry back to the train station before the last train departing for Iwakuni. We informed this to Hiro. He did have a little surprised look. He said, “I hope you stay at my home tonight? You my guest. My wife, good cook.” We had to politely decline and explained that we had be at work early in the morning. If not, we would then be in big trouble. He was disappointed, but understood. So, he hailed another taxi for us. He later paid of the fare, again. As we walked to the station, Hiro said again, “Sure must go? You stay my house. My wife good cook..” Again, we had to refuse and explained the importance of why we could not be late. He understood, I hope. He did not seem pleased about us leaving. We bowed to him in a Japanese fashion, and told him, “Arigato”. That is thank you in Japanese. He smiled and bowed back to us and said, “Thank you”.

That night, I could not sleep for along time. The whole experience in Hiroshima kept playing in my mind. I would ponder on the negative experiences I encountered in southern California. It perplexed me that the Japanese in Hiroshima had treated me so much nicer in one day than some American’s had treated me during my two years in southern California. There was a part of me inside that wanted to yell-out, in anger, to all of those who had treated me harshly, because I was an American military serviceman, a U.S. Marine! Another part of me wanted to cry. I then thought, “Marine’s don’t cry”. Yet I know many of the one’s that had served in combat did, and rightly so. For many years it perplexed me why some American’s, not evening knowing me, would hate me because I was willing to volunteer in the military. Yet, other American’s, as those in Texas, treated me with a feeling of royalty. The same, the Japanese in Hiroshima, who are not Americans, treated me as a welcomed guest.

© Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee posted a message. New comment added.
Oct 20, 2016 at 3:38 AM

Posted on: Apr 27, 2016 at 10:39 PM

I'm in the Houston area. Did 20 in the Marine Corps. How's everyone?