Earlier this week, i had the terrific honor of spending a very long day with a Korean War veteran. Volunteered for the draft in Los Angeles. He was an army photographer and witnessed all the terrible that we can imagine, remember, fear. He confirmed that our soldiers only had summer weight uniforms through very cold winters.
Fast forward to this week. He has had to give up his home due to financial. This is common for folks in their late seventies and eighties. He is renting a room in a newer home about two miles away. He is in excellent health, has ready smile, and everyone coming through is happy to greet.
He used the GI bill to attend and graduate from UCLA. His children are now thousand miles away in Louisianna. I requested that he write a book of his experiences and include some of his photographs. He replied that the army owns the photos. I am very lucky.
The second veteran was a Korean War POW at a camp near the Yalu River. He is about 6 ft. 3 in. And skinny as a rail. His reputation as an honorable soldier was smashed during the war by our army, politicians and news sources. The captures began July 1950 by North Koreans who marched our guys to the river, murdering many, along with civilians, along the way. The ration was 400 calories per day. The chinese army took over the POW camps in October. The ration was 700 calories per day. The chinese chose to acquire propaganda promotimg their communist philosophy by having American soldiers say negative about America. The enlisted and drafted soldiers were separated from non-coms and officers.
Cease fire brought the release of our soldiers. Those in medical need were treated. The POW's were brought back to our west coast on a slow troop ship. They were closely, harshly questioned by army officials. Some prosecutions and courts martials did occur. 23 soldiers went to China, refusing to come home. Over 78,000 POW's of North Korean army had been released by the South Korean president. They disappeared into the civilian world.
The neighbor here was provided a book, 'Remembered Prisoners of a Forgotten War' by Lewis H. Carlson'. This removed the stigma. This renewed his spirit. He told us that he knew that American honor had been held and doubts by Americans had haunted him. He holds his head high and has the POW license plate. His grand daughter drives his car to high school.
Here on veterans day, 2016, I also say hats off to our army guys in Viet Nam 1962/63 who vanquished the VC, provided protection and medical for rural peoples. Built roads so they could sell their products in the cities. If the CIA wants the credit, it is ok. Murdering president Diem in August 1963 was our big error.
To Desert Storm army veterans is another thank you. Over 55,000 are now in VA health care due to vacinations given concurrent instead of three days apart, driving right into burning Kuwait oil fields and destroying WMD poison gas stockpile and more.
Most newsviners are already familiar with our current high percentage of soldiers and marines having nightmares. Do not be afraid to say a prayer for their healing. Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria are all active locations for our army soldiers. The chief of staff, after a panel discussion broadcast on c-span still had his mic on and answered a ladies question. He told her that our soldiers in Afghanistan are in garrison, except for a few out in the countryside. Taliban controls large areas and launched suicide fighters yesterday in the capital.
Thanks to the newsviners who are military veterans. I remember ww1 veterans on their porches coughing and gagging because they had been gassed in France. Here we are today, remembering so many and praying for a genuine peace.
noon Friday Chicago.
thank you all for sharing and contributing.
tv is all about trump except for a broadcast from Arlington and a panel discussion with ww2 vets on c-span3. This was held last July. ONe footnote: the massacre at malmedy is thoroughly investigated and published in 'The Devil's Adjutant'.
We have three ceremonies tomorrow morning nearby. Flag is out and waving briskly with the strong breeze.
again, thanks to all for stopping by.