어느 한국 참전용사와의 인터뷰

델라웨어 DE
Author
델라웨어한인회
Date
2017-06-19 18:52
Views
3519
어느 한국 참전용사와의 인터뷰.
1. How old were you when you joined the military?
Joined DEANG at 19.
2. Where, in Korea, were you stationed during the war?
Inchon.
3. Can you recall the day you arrived in Korea and your initial feelings?
Mostly the smell, a mixture of honey wagon fragrance and national halitosis.
4. How long did you serve in Korea?
From Dec 1952 to September 1953
5. What were your duties?
Battalion Asst S-4 (Supply Officer), Platoon Leader, Battery Executive Officer.
6. Do you have any particular memories from the war, that still stick out in your mind?
Many, such as the devaluation of the Yuan while I was en route to Chodo as paymaster for our battalion. Also, problems due to racial integration and occasional visits from "Bedcheck Charlie".
7. What was your impression of Korea as a people or country?
I was overwhelmed by the poverty and the resourcefulness of the Korean people, the obvious lack of sanitary facilities, and the unexpected white clothing worn on Sundays.
8. Did you ever have interactions with the local natives/Koreans?
Very little. All Korean establishments, houses, etc. were off-limits. Mostly, from houseboys, frequently named Kim.
Most revered Syngman Rhee in spite of his flaws, and wanted to become philosophers.
9. Have you ever thought about going back to visit South Korea in the years since the war?
Absolutely. I could not believe the changes that I had heard about and returned for a week in 2011. Due to my service and what I saw in 1953, I still find it hard to believe that I visited the same country. Even the geography was unrecognizable. Inchon's tidal basins and Wolmido and its viaduct seemed to have disappeared.
10. Do you have any message for Koreans today; older immigrants that survived the war or second generation Korean Americans?
The Korean people that I have met in the last ten years revere us old veterans. If it hadn't been for us, they would probably be no better off today than their North Korean neighbors. Their gratitude, both in Korea and in the U.S., has made us swell with pride. At the time of my U.S. Army service, all I wanted to do was to return home to my new wife, I now am proud to have been a witness to the events that enabled the Korean people to accomplish their miracle. They have showered me with trinkets, which I did not need but accepted graciously (I hope). There is a better way for them to express their gratitude: Our public schools have been ranked #28 in the world's public school systems. South Korea's (along with Finland's) have been rated as the very best, Nr. 1. We rank #1 for money spent per student, yet we are continually asked to pay more without any appreciable results. Maybe South Korean ideas could help our schools.
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