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Leonard Native Helps with Typhoon Cleanup in the Pacific

Photo by Lance Cpl. Hannah Hall
U.S. Marine Corps

Among the 150-plus U.S. troops who landed on the tiny Pacific Island of Tinian to help clean up the wake of Typhoon Yutu is a native of Leonard in Fannin County. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Zeth McKee is an engineer assistant with Okinawa-based Combat Logistics Battalion 31. The batallion was sent to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands on Nov. 3, according to a statement by the U.S.M.C.


McKee graduated from Leonard High School in 2016 and enlisted just a few months later. He is part of a U.S. military effort to help repair the damage wrought by Yutu, which saw government buildings, homes, and schools leveled by the storm's 170-plus mph winds in October.


“Marines with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and CLB-31 have been leading the multi-service U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency-directed DSCA mission here since Oct. 29,” according to the Marine Corps.


The 31st MEU is the Marine Corps’ only continuously forward-deployed MEU, provides a flexible force ready to perform a wide-range of military operations across the Indo-Pacific region.