My local DAR asked me, (that's Daughters of the American Revolution for those of you who may not be familiar with the organization), to write a letter to a veteran of the Korean War whom they know and all vets in general. Some have called it The Forgotten War, but for those who served in it, forgotten, I'm sure is not the adjective they would use. It was quite a task to write, I must admit, for even though my father was in the Korean War I was not completely clear on its historical significance. After doing some research I learned some things I would rather forget, but I also learned some things that were uplifting and inspiring….for instance the story of Reckless, a small Mongolian mare who became a national hero by caring ammunition to the front lines. Check out her complete story and get a tissue. http://www.sgtreckless.com/Reckless/Welcome.html. Anyway, I had to ask the Lord for some help on this one, because I did not want to do our vets any disservice by wrong wording. Here's what I sent to the Battle of Rockfish Chapter of the NSDAR, which eventually will be printed in The Duplin Times newspaper. Enjoy.
To all veterans of the Korean War we, the Battle of Rockfish Chapter NCSDAR, want to say thank you. A thank you which when proffered extends beyond a simple handshake or a friendly hug. It’s the kind of thanks that goes as deep as memory will allow, a thank you that empowers us to become a part of your story, and you a part of ours. It’s the story of lifetimes of freedom. Freedom won for us by the blood, sweat, and tears of those who came before and walked down a road where most of us would not tread. I am speaking of those men and women, who without their bravery, loyalty to country and flag, we would not be writing this letter today. Younger generations do not know or comprehend the price that was paid forward for them through war. They only see images from movies and then question why. What justification could there be for the maelstrom and mayhem? Unless explained, the unschooled and unenlightened walk in darkness as to the gift they have been given by you and others and would continue down that path unless steered in the right direction. We, the Rockfish Chapter need not be steered. We are beyond thankful to those who walked through the muddy trenches of Pusan and other battles that raged in Korea, and all the other wars past and present. We will never understand the loneliness and despair brought on by the images and sounds you had to endure. Images of comrades lying still and lifeless or the cracking of bombshells striking so close to rattle the ground you walked upon. The story of our lives begins and ends with those who gave of themselves. To those who never returned home: to those who left a piece of them behind: to those whose memories of war will haunt their dreams forever, we are eternally grateful. Your sacrifice, bravery and steadfast belief in American freedom have allowed us to continue on in a privileged democracy. And, even though as a young man you may not have entirely understood the cost you were about to pay we will never forget that all gave some and some gave their all and for that our lives are forever changed. Thank you for our freedom and your service. Godspeed.
Please check out this website http://www.beforeyougo.us/ for further expression of gratitude and helpful information for our aging vets.