Nhabee was born and raised in the jungle of Laos during the Secret War. He was old enough to remember the violence of the war at its peak, the persecution of family members who aided U.S. soldiers and the details of the long trek to safety. His family escaped to Thailand and lived in the Nong Khai and Ban Vinai refugee camps for four years before arriving in Madison, Wisconsin on December 19, 1979. There, he started a new life in the U.S. along with thousands of other Hmong families. He currently lives with his wife and four grown children in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.