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Remembering Korean War Veterans

June 28, 1986

In regard to the letter from Charles V. Hearn (June 4) about the lack of a memorial for the Korean War veterans: I fought in both Korea and Vietnam and noted a few comparisons. In Korea our goal was to hold the invader, then push him to where he came from. In Vietnam there was no line to jump off from or drive the enemy to.

Korea was cold (the winds were born there), but Nam was just as cold up along the DMZ in the North. Summertime temperatures in both nations ranged from 85 to 118 degrees while I was there. And the food! C-rations, Chu Lai mystery meat, Spam, fruit cocktail (1919-Buy Liberty Bonds). The stuff gave us either the "Delta quick step" or the "bloats." At least it didn't kill us.

It took 20 days to return to the States by troop transport from Korea. In Nam, you turned in your gear, showered, got a fresh uniform, and in just 18 hours you were on a California freeway.

In both wars we gave as good as we got, and then some. Whatever came down the road or out of the woods, we hammered! I remember the "Inchon to Seoul Great Foot Races" and the "Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club Night Follies" of '50 and '66 respectively.

What the Korean War lacked in duration it made up for in intensity. The Vietnam War just dragged on and on. We also lost no servicewomen in Korea; but mines, rockets and snipers took their toll of servicewomen in Nam.

We "Depression Brats" have a War Memorial. Look about you Mr. Hearn--it consists of Disneyland, the Statute of Liberty, hot dogs, ball games and our way of life. The kids of the 1960s deserve their memorial also. As one "Frozen Chosin" vet to another, let me say to you, "Welcome home, well done!"

If the drum rolled again and the bugle blew, would the "Depression Brats" and the "Flower Children" go back to the Greater Far East Asian Fun Festivals at Inchon, Pyong-Taek, Wolmi-Do, Pork Chop, or Chu Lai, Danang, Hue, 881 South? You bet'cha, GI!

ROBERT HUGHES

Santa Ana

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