The war between North and South Korea began by the North making a surprise attack on South Korea on June 25, 1950. It ended with a signed armistice agreement between the two countries on July 27, 1953. No treaty has ever been signed.

It was a devastating war for both sides. Roughly 178,426 allied military dead and wounded, and over 32,000 missing. The North Korean and Chinese military lost 367,283 dead and 686,500 wounded. Over 2.5 million civilians on both sides were killed.

With age catching up and passing by World War II veterans, Korean vets are fast becoming the “old vets.” Our war was between the great World War II and the costly Vietnam conflict. We became the “forgotten war.” Many of my friends I knew who served during the Korean War have already passed on. Pretty soon it will be my turn.

I turned 18 years old in Korea. I was still a teenager who never had to really fire a weapon against an enemy. I served in the Navy in 1952, on a small navy ship called an LST. We carried supplies from Japan to Korea. I was at Inchon, and once in Seoul, South Korea’s capital. I never was closer than three miles to the enemy, and always protected by the U.S. Marines and South Korean soldiers.

At night, I could hear and sometimes see the flashes of our artillery in the hills beyond. Although I was not in combat, I grew up quickly when I observed the wounded Marines and soldiers being brought in to the beach areas, and the covered bodies of the dead.

I mention all this because there were so many other young military who were involved in the Korean conflict in areas who were not combat, but directly and indirectly involved in support of the actions taking place in Korea, and feel that they did their part, and were never recognized or honored.

Many supporting military units stationed in locations close to, but not on Korean soil directly, were considered being in the Korean conflict. They earned the Korean ribbon and are very proud of what they did do. 1 want the public to know there are many veterans of this “police action” who are still not acknowledged for their time in service.

If you know of a veteran who served during the Korean War in an overseas area that dealt directly in the support of Korea, thank them.

Mel Jasmin



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