United States Army Private First Class Carlton Lane Chee laid to rest
Navajo Nation - Office of the President and Vice President
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer attended the graveside services for United States Army Private First Class Carlton Lane Chee, a member of the Navajo Nation, who passed away at the age of 25 on September 2, 2020, while stationed at Fort Hood Army Base in Texas. Services were held at the National Veterans Cemetery in Gallup, New Mexico on Tuesday.
President Nez and Vice President Lizer presented a Navajo Nation flag and a proclamation in honor and remembrance of Private First Class Chee. On Monday, the two leaders also issued a proclamation calling for all flags on the Navajo Nation to be flown at half-staff on Tuesday, to pay tribute to Private First Class Chee and United States Army Specialist Miguel D. Yazzie, who also passed away in July while stationed at Fort Hood Army Base.
“Today, we pay tribute to the life of Private First Class Chee and we offer our thoughts and prayers for his fiancé, children, parents, and siblings. We pray to our Creator and ask for strength and comfort for all of the families that have lost loved ones while stationed at Fort Hood Army Base. By all accounts, Private First Class Chee was a strong warrior and a good family man who wanted the best for his family and his Navajo people. We will always be thankful for his service to the Navajo Nation and the United States,” said President Nez.
Private First Class Chee was born on August 28, 1995 and grew up in Ramah, New Mexico and graduated from Pine Hill High School in 2015. Prior to his military service, he was an active member of the Ramah Navajo and Zuni Wildland Fire Program. According to his family, Private First Class Chee enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, watching the Denver Broncos play, weightlifting, playing the guitar, and greatly appreciated Navajo culture and traditions.
Private First Class Chee collapsed during a training exercise on August 28, 2020 and eventually passed away at Carl R. Darnall Medical Center on Sepember 2, 2020. His death marked the 28th casualty involving military personnel at Fort Hood this year.
President Nez and Vice President Lizer have called on members of congress, United States Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper, Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy, and Major General John Richardson IV, who oversees the Fort Hood Army Base, to investigate the deaths and to provide answers to the families.
“We pray that the families of Private First Class Chee and Spc. Yazzie take comfort in knowing that their loved ones are now with our Creator. We have many Navajo men and women serving proudly in every branch of the Armed Services. We pray for their protection as well, and ask our Creator to bring them home safely,” stated Vice President Lizer.
Private First Class Chee is survived by his two sons Thielen Nikolai Chee and Kozak Bode Chee, his fiancé Ieashia Pino, parents Gene Chee and Jeanette Chee, and sisters Lynette Coho, Vergena Chee, Janell Chee, Colette Chee, and Sharmaine Chee. The Nez-Lizer Administration also thanks the Navajo Hopi Honor Riders for providing the escort for Tuesday’s graveside services.