From 1950 to 1953 the U.S. sent over 325K servicemembers to lead and fight alongside ROK servicemembers and those from 15 other countries to stop an invasion from communist North Korea.
Over 200K servicemembers within UNC were killed or missing during these three years. On 27 July 1953, an Armistice was signed.
Without the sacrifices of the Korean War Veterans we would not be here today nor could have Korea developed into the country it is. Since the end of the Korea War in 1953 there have been over 2.8 million U.S. service members who have served in Korea maintaining the Korean War Armistice agreement. Most on one year tours away from family and friends. Since 1953 U.S. and South Korean service members have stood side by side defending Korea against a very aggressive and dangerous enemy in North Korea. This strong defense and the sacrifices of these service members has allowed South Korea to develop into a strong democracy that practices freedom, education, human rights, and economic develop for all.
South Korea has now been able to become the 11th wealthiest country in the world. They have sent troops to support the U.S. around the world and are in many UN Peacekeeping efforts. Throughout these past 64 years since the Armistice agreement was signed, the Korean people and companies have welcomed U.S. service members to Korea like no other country in the world. Their warmth, generosity, and support of U.S. servicemembers serving in Korea is one on the things that makes an assignment in Korea so rewarding. But at the same time the dangers of North Korea are very real. Over these years there have been many, many provocations from NK and they continue to this day.
Without the sacrifices of U.S. and Korean servicemembers the security and safety of South Korea would not have been possible. It time to honor and remember these service members, not just during their tours of duty in Korea but also after they return home. It is also important that the people of Korea and the U.S. understand the importance of Korea, the importance of the Alliance and the challenges we face today and will in the future. These are the purposes and reasons we are forming the KDVA. The KDVA is a 501C(3) non-profit organization incorporated in the state of Virginia.
KDVA Programs will include Scholarships, Seminars to foster the understanding and importance of the ROK – US Alliance, Gala Reunion Dinners, and a robust website highlighting important events, initiatives, news, and issues. Funding for KDVA programs will come thru the generous donations of companies and individuals in Korea and the U.S.
Thanks to all of you for your support of KDVA and veterans. I look forward to working with each of you as we honor our veterans who served in Korea.
Walter L. Sharp
President / Chairman
Korea Defense Veterans Association