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KDVA’s 70th Commemoration of the Korean War: “I Know A Korean War Veteran Campaign”

For the 70th commemoration of the start of the Korean War on 25 June, KDVA would like to honor those who served in the war and those who supported them from home.  We would like to hear and share the life stories of Korean War veterans, their families, and the lives they have touched.

Through written stories, photos, and short videos, we hope that people will find new appreciation for our Korean War veterans and the importance of the ROK-U.S. Alliance.  We also hope that veterans and their families will draw closer together as they discover new meaning and appreciation for the veterans’ experiences.

These stories will be living reminders of the immeasurable contributions of our Korean War veterans to the security and prosperity of the enduring ROK-U.S. Alliance.

Starting now, we ask anyone who is a Korean War veteran or knows a Korean War veteran to write short stories and share pictures or videos.

We will select some of these stories to highlight them below, at KDVA events, in the monthly KDVA “Unsung Heroes” Newsletter, and quarterly KDVA “ROK-U.S. Alliance Journal.”


Share Your Stories & Photos –

We ask anyone who is a Korean War veteran or knows a Korean War veteran to write short stories and share them along with pictures or videos with us. Please email your stories and photos to  70KWstories.kdva@gmail.com.

Comments(7)

    • REPLY
      Robert Michael says

      My uncle, Sgt. Robert Appleby served in Korea from Feb. 1951 through Mar. 1954 in the CID. I served in Korea with HHQ & Band, 7th Infantry Division Support Command from Apr 1968 through Mar 1969.

  1. REPLY
    GLENN ROTHE says

    My Father was a Korean Veteran 1950-1972 US Navy.

  2. REPLY
    James Pierce says

    My favorite Korean War veteran is General Paek Sun Yup, perhaps Korea’s greatest modern military leader. I initially met General Paek probably in the 1970s, when I was first assigned to the American Embassy in Seoul. (I had been introduced to Korea a decade earlier, serving in 8th Army.) Over the years, with repeated assignments to Korea, I had the opportunity to meet General Paek a number of times. The last time I saw him was about 25 years ago at a reception held at the residence of the Korean Ambassador to the U.S. on Korean Armed Forces Day, October 1. General Paek was the senior-ranking guest and, as such, was to give the featured remarks. I met up with him during the initial mix and mingle, reintroduced myself and, after mentioning that I had just re-read a history of the Korean War, asked General Paek if he could recall for me one particular event during the war that stood out most clearly in his memory. He paused and said, “Yes, there was such a moment, and I remember it very clearly.” He related how, on June 29, he had been directed to go to Suwon Airfield to meet a “high-ranking U.S. military officer.” The officer turned out to be General MacArthur, who flew in from Japan that day to assess the situation on the ground. After going up to the south bank of the Han River (Seoul had fallen by that time), MacArthur declared that he would direct U.S. ground troops to come to Korea and enter the war. At that moment, General Paek related to me some 45 years later, “I knew Korea would be saved.” General Paek and I parted, said hello to other guests, and several minutes later, General Paek was called to the front of the room to deliver his remarks. He reached into his suit jacket pocket and took out a page of written remarks. Pausing a moment, he said, “I have these prepared remarks, but I’m not going to use them.” Putting them back into his pocket, he continued, “Instead, I’m going to tell you about June 29, 1950.” When he finished a few minutes later, the applause was thunderous.

  3. REPLY
    MinShik Kim says

    Freedom is not free.

    April 19, 2020 is the 11th anniversary of my grandfather’s death.
    He was laid to rest at Daejeon National Cemetery.

    My grandfather, Captain Sung Gon Kim is a Korean War Veteran, and has served in the ROK Army during the Korean war as an infantry officer.

    CPT Kim took part in the war for 2 years and 6 months, especially from January 1, 1951 to July 1, 1953.

    When the war broke on June 25th, 1950, new recruits received initial entry training at Moseulpo in Jeju Island (1st training center, later, 2nd training center opened up in Nonsan).

    My grandfather was assigned to the 1st training center to train soldiers. Most of the graduates were placed at the front line at that time.

    Later, he fought bravely at 351 front line battle near Wolbi Mountain which is remembered as one of the most intense battles during the Korean War. He was wounded from that battle and honorably discharged.

    He truly sacrificed himself to protect and defend our people and nation.

    Thank you for your service and we will remember you.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f56e45b424acf15950d3687236fbf9ce5b27ad3d534d3436a3006af0c3fa2ec3.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4fde249407de792ee8e69a5d0b10970a11f30a76a59535b5f435afea78f6b9ca.jpg

  4. REPLY
    Amy Fisher says

    Marine Corps Capt. Raymond Murphy, a Medal of Honor recipient who honorably served his fellow Marines during war, then spent the rest of his life serving them, as well.

    Murphy was born Jan. 14, 1930, in Pueblo, Colorado. He had three brothers and a sister and said he loved to play sports growing up. He was finishing his bachelor’s degree in 1950 when the Korean War broke out.

    A Marine wearing a dress uniform and a Medal of Honor around his neck looks at the camera.

    Toward the end of his senior year, the draft was becoming more of a concern, so Murphy got advice from two of his older brothers — both of whom had already served. He decided he would try to become an officer, so he joined the Marine Corps after graduation and earned his commission.

    Murphy was placed in Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division. It wasn’t long before he was sent to Korea, where he earned the Silver Star while commanding an infantry platoon in Seoul in late 1952.

    On Feb. 3, 1953, Murphy earned the Medal of Honor by taking charge when several of his superiors went down. On that day, Murphy’s company was positioned near the Imjin River, and their mission was to keep Chinese communist troops from getting a foothold on the hill. Murphy, a second lieutenant at the time, was commanding a reserve platoon that was positioned to help wounded men from the two forward-fighting platoons.

    Quickly, Murphy realized something was wrong when there were no wounded men coming back to them. He decided to move his platoon up to see what was going on. As they got closer to the front line, he realized that all of the forward platoons’ officers and noncommissioned officers were dead or seriously wounded. The lack of leadership caused mass confusion among the remaining ranks.

    Several Marines wade through thigh-high water carrying weapons on their backs, walking toward a hill in the distance.
    Murphy immediately took command, ordering his platoon to find their comrades and evacuate the area despite the heavy machine-gun fire raging around them. Murphy himself was seriously wounded by fragments from a mortar shell, but he refused help and continued to lead his men up the hill to find more pinned-down Marines. Murphy made several trips up and down the hill as it was blanketed by enemy fire, directing evacuation teams to the wounded and carrying several injured men to safety.

    Murphy ordered part of his unit to help the attack platoons when they needed reinforcements. He took out two enemy combatants with his own pistol.

    When all the wounded were evacuated, the assault platoons started to move down the hill. Although injured, Murphy stayed behind to cover their backs, fending off enemies who reappeared in the trenches with a carbine and an automatic rifle.

    Military vehicles follow zig-zagged muddy roads up a hill.

    Once Murphy got to the hill’s base, he organized a search party and went back up one more time to make sure no one had been left behind. During that search, they found the bodies of a machine-gun crew, which they carried down.

    But they weren’t in the clear. Enemy guns, artillery and mortar fire continued to cascade on them from above, and Murphy was wounded a second time while trying to get the company to the main line of departure. He refused to get help for himself until everyone else made it through to safety.

    Years later, Murphy explained his thinking.

    “That’s one of the big things you’re trained for in the Marine Corps. You get casualties, and even men you didn’t know, whether they were alive or not — you get them out of the front line and get them back to where the medical people could look at them,” he said in a Veterans History Project interview. “This is the purpose of the war — to save your men and take care of the enemy.”

    Murphy returned to the states shortly after that battle and was promoted to captain. He later left the service and enrolled in graduate school, where he was when he learned that his actions in war had earned him the Medal of Honor. He received the medal from President Dwight D. Eisenhower in a While House ceremony on Oct. 27, 1953. It went well with the Silver Star, Purple Heart, Korean Service Medal with two bronze stars, and the United Nations Service Medal he also earned during his short military career.

    An older gentleman wearing a Medal of Honor looks into a camera.

    Murphy went on to marry and have four children, and he spent most of his civilian career in service to other veterans after settling in New Mexico. He served as the director of veteran services at what is now the Department of Veterans Affairs center in Albuquerque from 1974 to 1997. When he retired, he continued to serve the center as a volunteer, pushing veterans in wheelchairs to their medical appointments.

    Murphy died on April 6, 2007, at the age of 77. He was buried in Santa Fe National Cemetery wearing his VA hospital volunteer smock.

    Murphy’s love for his fellow veterans was so well-known that, in 2008, the VA hospital where he worked was renamed the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center.

    Former New Mexico Rep. Stevan Pearce praised Murphy during the renaming process. “Many of us too often believe that heroism can only be exhibited in those extreme circumstances. But I would say that it takes more courage to live a life of service that he chose to live after his heroic exploits. He wasn’t faced with multimillion-dollar book-signing deals, no movie contracts — just a quiet life serving other veterans who are often overlooked.”

    A life that is well worth honoring.

    BY KATIE LANGE, DOD NEWS
    https://www.defense.gov/Explore/Features/Story/Article/2070015/medal-of-honor-monday-marine-corps-capt-raymond-murphy/ https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/747282f3c9aa7c00daa662ccdacc0da87ff18208910e28e8fb5c3801baec2021.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3df24c55d1c8b8a430e6f7a3e1c5252d431621d633e65138f01b3777e12a7716.jpg

  5. REPLY
    Thomas Lucken says

    LTG (Ret) Hal Moore is one I will take a note on. Most think of him only from Vietnam based off the book and movie, We Were Soldiers. Long before Vietnam, LTG Moore served as a company commander during the Korean War with the 7th Infantry Division. In fact in in 1970, he returned to Korea and took command of the 7th Infantry Division.

    BTW, I had the honor to serve in the 7th Cavalry to, my case was with 4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry, 2nd Infantry Division in 1983-84 and 1987-88 in Korea.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5bc06acd1a19da83087addbb7d3b9431220a0af6323e659f3ddf7adc8e2950db.jpg

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