The Korean War began on June 25, 1950, 60 years ago. Just three years later, on July 27, 1953, the war ended. This summer, many ceremonies are taking place across the country to commemorate, “the forgotten war” and the veterans who fought to protect us from the encroachment of communism at the 38th parallel, the border dividing South Korea from its northern aggressor.
“People don’t know the Korean War, and that’s a real shame,” said retired Lt. Gen. Richard Carey at a recent ceremony in Dallas, Texas. “We spent two solid years in the trench with rats and the terrible cold of Korea in the winter. But there was also heroism beyond reason. Those two years – that is what people want to forget.” (source: Dallas News)
Retired Col. William Weber, at a 60th anniversary event in Fredericks, Maryland, said that the Korean War has received little attention, and yet it was one of the bloodiest of wars in American history. “For some reason, our country, our media and even our leaders seem to forget that in between World War II and Vietnam, there was another conflict,” he said. “I don’t think it should fall through the cracks of history books, yet it has.” (source: Fredericks News Post)
Raymond Smith, an Army veteran of the 25th Division, 21st Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion, at an Armed Forces remembrance program in Washington, D.C., recalled that “. . . there was nothing but cold and freezing and you were cold all the time. It’s too cold when you can’t pull the bolt on the .50-cal to fire – and you stand out there with a one-gallon tin can half full of gas and 10 guys are standing around it trying to keep warm. . . and nobody’s shooting at anybody because it’s too damn cold.” (source: Army News Service)
Six decades later, there are Korean War veterans still suffering from the after effects of the extreme winter cold they experienced while in combat.
The Veterans Administration (VA) recognizes that cold injuries, including frostbite were major medical concerns for military personnel during the Korean War. Years later they may be suffering from conditions connected to their service during the Korean War.
Last year, on July 28, President Obama signed into law “The Korean War Recognition Act” making July 27 National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day. It is a national day of remembrance on which the display of the American flag is encouraged to honor our Korean War veterans to help us all not forget the sacrifices made during this short, but historic war.
View a multimedia history of the Korean War at the U.S. Department of Defense Web site.
Note: All representation coordinated by Alpha is provided by our employees, the Advocates, who are accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). No private organization that trains and employs accredited agents has been legally recognized by the VA for the purposes of preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims. This work must be done by the Advocates themselves and not organizations.