Korean War Legacy Project

Alvin Jurrens

Bio

Alvin Jurrens grew up tending to the family farm before he found himself drafted into the Korean War. He served in the Army, seeing action on the front lines during his time overseas. He recounts multiple instances of close encounters, all the while serving sparing his mother war details to keep her from worrying. He speaks of the difficulties he endured upon returning back to civilian life. He shares that he is proud to have served in the United States military and in the Korean War.

Video Clips

Tending the Farm Before the Draft

Alvin Jurrens shares his family life growing up on a farm in Iowa. He explains that his father passed away when he was fourteen, leaving his mother with nine children to raise. He recounts dropping out of school after eighth grade to help tend to the farm. He shares that he did not enlist but was drafted into the Korean War in 1952.

Tags: Home front,Prior knowledge of Korea

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4P7yh2Mmr4k&start=17&end=134

Withholding the Difficulties of War

Alvin Jurrens details an experience out on the front lines as a forward observer on the 38th Parallel. He recalls feeling safe in the bunker, but shortly after his departure, it was blown up. He shares a second close encounter he endured in a jeep incident as well. He acknowledges that someone was watching over him in both accounts. He also explains that he wrote letters home to his mother but withheld information regarding the difficulties there as he did not want her to worry.

Tags: Front lines,Impressions of Korea,Letters,Living conditions,Physical destruction

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4P7yh2Mmr4k&start=503&end=720

Return to Hardship on the Home Front

Alvin Jurrens describes the ceasefire on July 27th, 1953. He remembers waking up the following morning to, for the first time, a quiet morning. He tears as he shares the hardest part for him upon his return home after the war.

Tags: 1953 Armistice 7/27,Front lines,Home front,Living conditions

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4P7yh2Mmr4k&start=875&end=987

The Legacy is Freedom

Alvin Jurrens expresses that freedom is a Korean War legacy. He shares it is an honor to have served, and it is worth the pain he endured. He states that it is simply something you do for somebody.

Tags: Impressions of Korea,Message to Students,Pride

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4P7yh2Mmr4k&start=1549&end=1637