Fred "Hopsing" Lee, Alaska Army National Guard, 1979-87

Fred Lee was thankful that Hoonah Vietnam veterans shared their knowledge and “showed us the ropes in the National Guard”. He finished his service as an E5.

Fred Lee enlisted in the Alaska Army National Guard when he signed up in Hoonah at the age of 22.  His father was a member of the Alaska Territorial Guard (a military reserve force component of the US Army, organized in 1942 in response to attacks on United States soil in Hawaii and occupation of parts of Alaska by Japan during World War II). 

After basic training in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Fred and his fellow Guardsmen trained at Annette Island, Kruzof Island, Anchorage, Fort Greely, Fort Wainright, and Hoonah.

Fred packed an M60 and walked point with it.  “I had good eyesight and could hear really good at the time… Everybody in Hoonah packed an M60, all the captains I fished with, crew members were all M60 gunners so I joined the crowd to be part of them… I had no problem packing all that weight anyway because when I was growing up over there (Hoonah) they would drag wood down, pack it down all our lives for heat.  So packing around that M60 and all that gear wasn’t too hard.”

“James Lindoff and George Lindoff they were Vietnam vets and everything and they kind of showed us the ropes in the National Guard- made us what we were, you know, went from lowest ones on the totem pole to the top of the totem pole with just those two guys…we were lucky to have those two guys with us to show us how.”

Fred Lee