Brodie Lee "Holly" Haith Jr., a Vietnam War veteran and electrician who volunteered to help veterans struggling with substance abuse, died July 8 of cirrhosis of the liver at Maria Parham Medical Center in Henderson, N.C. The former Baltimore resident was 57.
Born and raised in West Baltimore, Mr. Haith left high school in the 11th grade to learn to be an electrician at the Baltimore Job Corps Skills Center.
Mr. Haith then enlisted in the Army and was stationed in Vietnam doing telecommunications work for nearly three years. While up on a utility pole stringing wires in Vietnam, Mr. Haith was shot in the leg, his sister Bridget Carter said. He would eventually be discharged for complications related to that injury.
Returning to Baltimore, Mr. Haith found work as an electrician but struggled with nightmares brought on by post-traumatic stress disorder, Ms. Carter said. "He didn't talk about it immediately," said Ms. Carter, who lives in Chelmsford, Mass. "But when he drank, sometimes it would come out."
As Mr. Haith struggled with alcohol and drug addictions, he volunteered to help other veterans battling substance abuse.
In 2003, Mr. Haith earned a certificate from the Veterans Upward Bound program at the University of Massachusetts-Boston. The program offers veterans job training and classes.
"He had a lot of promise," Ms. Carter said. "He was always trying, seeking things spiritually." She remembered Mr. Haith as a great basketball player who was almost drafted by the Baltimore Bullets.
Funeral services were held Saturday in Colonial Heights, Va. Mr. Haith was buried with military honors there at Mount Minnis Memorial Park.
Mr. Haith also is survived by a mother, Emma G. Smith of Colonial Heights, Va.; eight brothers, Bryant Haith of Tampa, Fla., Bradford Haith of Chesapeake, Va., Bruce Haith of Lowell, Mass., Bret Haith of New Bedford, Mass., Brock Haith of Colonial Heights, Va., Brennen Haith of Germany, James Haith of Houston, and Jason Haith of Midlothian, Va.; three other sisters, Bryna Patrick and Bridetta Williams, both of Chester, Va., and Brendolyn Muniz of Midlothian, Va.; two sons, Brodie L. Haith III of Baltimore and Jamaal L. Haith of Massachusetts; and four grandchildren.