Holts Summit veteran takes war to courtroom

Holts Summit native Shawn Lee, an Army veteran, hit the books after spending years on the battlefield. He's hoping a law degree will help him change policy to help fellow veterans.

Holts Summit native Shawn Lee, an Army veteran, hit the books after spending years on the battlefield. He's hoping a law degree will help him change policy to help fellow veterans. Photo by Brittany Ruess.

Shawn Lee is used to fighting for what he believes in.

The Holts Summit native spent eight years in the Army, rising to the rank of staff sergeant while serving tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.

After medical issues earned him a discharge and he became disillusioned with how his fellow veterans were treated following their service, he suited up for a tenure on a more metaphorical battlefield. Lee is currently attending the University of Missouri School of Law, studying to help change laws to improve veteran care.

A history of service

Lee’s military career came in June 2004 when a sense of national pride brought him to join the Army.

“I wanted to enlist because of Sept. 11, and I wanted to be part of the infantry because I wanted to be one of the soldiers taking the fight to the Taliban,” Lee said. “I served for eight years, I was in Baghdad in 2008 during the Shiite uprising and I joined the 101st Airborne and fought in Kunar Province in Afghanistan in 2010.”

However, Lee’s seizures — at one point mild and infrequent — began occurring more and more regularly. Once Army doctors discovered he had suffered a traumatic brain injury from an improvised explosive device in Iraq a few years earlier, Lee was discharged from service in 2012.

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