Remembering the heroic service of Korean War combat veterans.

by | Apr 25, 2012

The following quote, photo and article from the above link was written by  , Elizabethton Star

“Although he only served in Korea with the U.S. Army in 1950 and 1951, veteran William Cole saw plenty of action during the period as the Korean War escalated.

Photo by Brandon Hicks – William Cole earned the medals on display in this case during his service with the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

His actions — including an heroic rescue attempt under enemy fire — during his time fighting in the Korean War earned him several commendations and medals. Cole has these medals, such as a Bronze Star and Purple Hearts, proudly on display in a wood and glass cabinet.”

I really don’t hear a whole lot about the Korean War and the sacrifice of combat veterans who are still very much with us, especially if they were just 17 when entering the service at that time in the early 1950’s.  What really shocked me is that my father, Vernon, after being diagnosed with severe “battle fatigue” following extended combat duty in WWII was sent away to the Korean War on the USS Andromeda just a few years later.  “Andromeda provided logistics support for United Nations forces fighting the Korean War until returning to San Diego at the end of the year. After 10 months of duty on the west coast, the ship returned to the Orient and logistics support for the United Nations defense of South Korea.”  Dad was told that he would not have to go back to any war while still in the Navy.  He was away again for about 1 year supporting the troops in the Korean War even though his condition and symptoms of PTSD worsened according to his medical records and observations by family members.  I remember Dad coming home, as written in my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  I was standing with my Mother, brothers, Jerry and Danny, and could see him waving from the ship when it was being secured to the dock.  The really tough times for Dad and our family were in the 50’s and vivid memories still persist.  We were all afraid and walked on egg shells most of the time.  It is sad for me to think of these times, and even more troubling to think that the US Navy sent my Dad and probably thousands of other WWII combat veterans back to war during the Korean conflict.  Dad’s symptoms were especially apparent with panic attacks and nightmares of shipboard duty.  He along with thousands of WWII veterans served their country with pride and honor in combat during WWII and should not have had to return to duty during the Korean conflict.

Steve Sparks
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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