Korean War Legacy Project

Delbert Ray Houlette


Delbert Ray Houlette enlisted into the Marine Corp when he was seventeen years old. Before serving in the Korean War, he knew nothing about the Korea peninsula. However, he quickly became familiar as he found himself serving overseas. He details his experiences during his duration of service at the beginning of the war. He participated in the Pusan Perimeter, Chosin Reservoir, Incheon Landing, and Wonson Landing. For many years, Delbert Ray Houlette suffered from PTSD after the war and did not talk about his experiences. However, after being advised by his wife to write down his experiences, he is now sharing his legacy.

Video Clips

Massacre in a Korean Village

Delbert Ray Houlette recollects here on some of his toughest moments while serving in Korea. He describes the disconnect between the Marine Corps with the Army and ROK soldiers. He also details having to build a causeway over a river in the middle of fighting. Lastly, he remembers witnessing a village after it had experienced a massacre.

Tags: Civilians,Fear,Front lines,Living conditions,Physical destruction

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Seasoned for the Incheon Landing

Delbert Ray Houlette recalls being sent to serve at the Incheon Landing. He and his outfit were sent due to being "seasoned" in combat compared to other troops with their experience in the Pusan Perimeter. He describes the tides of the area where he was on Red Beach.

Tags: 1950 Inchon Landing, 9/15-9/19,Incheon,Front lines,Living conditions,North Koreans

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Collecting the Dead

Delbert Ray Houlette describes how one of his duties during combat was to collect the dead bodies of fellow soldiers and put their bodies in the beds of trucks. He remembers one incident where a soldier's eyes had opened unexpectedly while in the truck. Believing the body might be alive, he told the personnel he was getting ammunition and would try to come back to see if he was okay later. However, he was never able to return and check.

Tags: Front lines,Living conditions,Personal Loss,Physical destruction

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Video Transcript

[Beginning of Transcribed Material]


D:        My name is Delbert Ray Houlette.

I:          When were you born?
D:        October 28, 1931.
I:          And where were you born?
D:        Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

I:          Can you tell me a little bit about your family, your parents, maybe siblings that you grew up with?
D:        I had an older brother who was in the Marine Corps, and I have a younger brother.



and two sisters.  I had three sisters I mean, excuse me.

I:          What were your parents like?
D:        They were, I think, like most parents.  They didn’t have any problems except between themselves as far as we as children were concerned.

I:          What brought you to enlist in the Marine Corps?  What were you doing when you were



D:        I really joined the Marine Corps for an education more than anything.  But also, I’m sure I was persuaded by my brothers being in the Service at that time.
I:          And you were in Oklahoma City when you joined?
D:        Yes, ma’am.

I:          Okay.  How old were you when you joined?
D:        Seventeen.  I had just turned 17 in October.  And


I joined in November.

I:          I see.  And then, when did you finally arrive to Korea?
D:        I arrived in Korea with the First Divisional Marine Brigade, and that was on August 2 at Pusan.  Busan it’s called now.

I:          Yeah.  Before we go into Korea and talk about your Korean War experience,

D:        Um hm.

I:          Do you remember the time



when you first heard about Korea and the Korean War?

D:        The first time I heard about it was prior to the weekend that I was supposed to go to a Hollywood party with Debbie Reynolds and a friend of mine.  And we didn’t get to go because we were all shut down and had to start loading before we went.  And so



that was the first time I’d heard about Korea.
I:          Had you known anything about the country?
D:        No ma’am.

I:          Oh.  What did you expect?  What was going through your mind?
D:        Well, having just got out of the training boot camp as we called it, the training was for war. we were


trained to respond to any type of a war regardless of what it was.  And I think that we were well prepared at the time.  So, when we went, we already knew what we were supposed to be doing.

I:          Um hm.

D:        And as a young kid, we were followers anyway.  We just followed our Sergeants and officers.

I:          So, what was your unit?

D:        I was with the Headquarters 11th Marines which is an artillery.  But



I was attached to Baker 15 which is the First Battalion Baker Company of the 5th Marine Regiment.  And I was a forward observer or a member of the forward observer team as a communicator, telephone, and wire.



I:          Um hm. So

D:        Radio I mean.

I:          Radio.

D:        Radio and wire.

I:          So, you arrived in Pusan.  You left from San Diego?

D:        We left from the dock here at San Diego.  I’m pretty sure we did, yes.

I:          About how many days did it take to get to Korea?
D:        Well, the ship that I was on was called the Henrico.  And all the ships loaded about the same time.



But the Henrico had some problems and had to be repaired.  We were already underway, so we had to turn back to San Francisco.  And we were there for about two to three days getting repaired.  But as soon as the ship was repaired, we took off for Korea again.



And we got there the same time that the other group did.  We had some very unusual circumstances on the trip.  On one occasion, we had the ship announced that there was an unknown submarine in the area.  And so, we were all shut down



and couldn’t get out of the hole as we called it where our bunks were.  That was just one situation.  When that was over, we had a storm that we were in that was tossing us around.  In order for us to go to the bathroom or eat, we had to go up to the top deck and back down to



another one.  They had ropes tied from one to the other.  To prevent us from being washed over, we had to use those ropes to go from one door to another.  Another incident that happened on the sea going over was one of the support ships, a cruiser, had a gentleman that had



appendicitis.  And they didn’t have any doctors on that ship.  But we did.  So, they took and shot lines across between the two ships, and it was about 40’ or so or at least that’s what it seemed like.  And it was really rough seas.  But they dragged this gentleman over,


And the two ships would come like this, and he would go down into the water and bounce right back up like a rubber band.  But it was scary for him, I’m sure.  And it was kind of scary for us, too, because the seas were very high at that time.  And then we arrived in Pusan on the second of August.  Looking off



the side of the ship that the dock was on.  I recall the Korea people, this reminded me a lot of when I was younger where they had nothing but animals or people that pulled the wagons and things like that.



And there were a lot of the Koreans on the dock.  And it was very busy down there because they were just really moving everywhere.  Then we started going off.

I:          How funny that reminded you of your childhood.

D:        Yes, because I was raised on a farm.  And we had nothing but horses to go to town with



and things like that.

I:          Yeah.  And how is everyone feeling, do you think? How are you feeling?  Is it like nervousness or are you just not like that, you’re just?

D:        Now?
I:          Back then when you just arrived. Or were you just like ok, I’m here to do my job.

D:        Like I said earlier, our training was to do a certain job.  And we did what we were told.



So, it wasn’t a matter of being scared at the time.  The scary parts came when we started actually fighting the North Koreans.
I:          I see.

D:        But no, I wasn’t scared at that time to get off the ship and things like that.  That didn’t faze me at all because we had a job to perform, and we did.

I:          And when did finally like the more tough things happen?



D:        Well, the worst things started happening when we were shot at, of course.  Our job, excuse me, the First Provisional Marine Brigade, and we were just a smaller unit.  We were not fully equipped at that time.  Instead of three companies per Regiment, we only



had two.  And so, we were under-manned at that time.  But when we went into combat, our job, the United States Army was there.  They came over from Japan.  And then the ROK, the Republic of Korea personnel was on one side, and the Army was on the other.



And it was our job to go relieve them.  And we would go relieve one, the ROKs, and maybe push back the area, gain terrain in other words.   Then we would be pulled back and would be sent over to work the Army.  And we would do the same thing over there.  And what was very annoying to



at least me was the fact that when we were able to gain ground, they lost it, both the ROK and the Army.  So, it was like the Punchbowl, we were punching out here and punching over there.  But we didn’t really gain much.  And the worst fighting was probably around the Naktong



River.  We had two terrible situations at the Naktong River.  Of course, number one we had to build a causeway across the river in order to get across.  Some of us had to just try to swim across and things like that, depending.  But the enemy was on the other side, and they were shooting at us.  Fortunately, I was



a pretty good rifleman.  And so, we were told that if we were a sharpshooter or above, they wanted us on our side of the Naktong to shoot at the other side.  And so, we did that in order to get, I mean, I was chosen to do that.  And we did that to protect the people that were trying to get



across.  Once we got across, the second time we went across, we went on the other side while we really seemed like we hit the full force of the North Korean Army.  And we lost a lot of people in our opinion.  One of the worst things I remember after we got



across and we were up on top of one of the hills in Korea, I don’t recall the name or anything.  But we had just went over this bridge, and the Korean people, villagers, were completely annihilated, I guess.  And the babies,



women, older people, were all killed.  And they were all laying in this one place.  And the women, some of the older women that did survive, came up and they were trying to find out, you know, if their relatives were there.  Later on, we found out that they had taken these people from a village and completely annihilated that village and brought them up on the



hill and just massacred them.  It was terrible to see.  It was my first experience so see some babies and women and older people like that that were killed.  And it was very touching.  And I mean, in a bad way.

I:          Yeah.

D:        If you know what I mean.  After that, we were asked



to, we, the First Provisional Marine Brigade, were to pull out of the Pusan Perimeter and put back on a ship.  At the time, we really didn’t know why we were going back.  But we were put on, some of us did anyway.  We were put on the ship.  I think it was around the 13 of September.  And



then we made the Inchon Landing on the 15th of September.  And being the seasoned combat personnel by that time, they used the First Marine Brigade to go in first because we were already seasoned, I guess in combat where a lot of the others just came from the United States.



So, the 5th Marines and the 7th Marines went in and took Womedo Island.  I forget who it was, I think it was the 7th Marines who took the Womedo Island.  And then the 5th Marines had what was called Red B each which was right at the city of Pusan.



And the tides of the area there at Inchon were about 40’ tides.  So, we knew that at the time we went in that we wouldn’t have any support to coming for us because once we got in, the tides would go out, and the ships or no one could get into us.



So, we knew that at the time we were in.  But we were able to survive.  There wasn’t just a lot of North Koreans at that area at that time because most of them were down South around Pusan.  Once we hit the Inchon Landing and that area, a lot of the North Koreans started coming



up from the South. Well, we in the meantime took Kimpo Field.  This is the one that my organization took.  We took Kimpo Field.  Then we went on into Seoul, and we had to go in on the north side of Seoul.  The First Marines


which had landed on I think White Beach, they came up from the South, and they went into Seoul from the South.  We, from the North, we got hit the hardest because we were getting North Koreans coming down from the north and then some of the ones coming up from the south.  So, we got hit really hard there.  And we finally were able to get into,



we were stalled for probably a day or so.  And then we went into, finally beat them and went into Seoul and liberated Seoul.  After Seoul, we were on a few reconnaissance in the area for a short period of time.  And then they put us back on a ship again.  Not knowing exactly why or where we were going at the time.



But they put us back on to ships, and we made the landing at Wonsan.  And we didn’t have a lot of the enemy hitting at us at that time.  There was a few but not a lot.  There was some running from the South and coming back home I guess you might say when



we hit or joined.  So, we were fighting them.  And then we were told to go up into the, I don’t remember the name of the road.  But we called it the MSR, the main supply route.  And we went to, I think it was Chinchu or something like that, Chosin Reservoir is what we called it.



I:          There’s a map of the Chosin area there.

D:        Uh huh, yes.

I:          Maybe.

D:        We went through Hagaru-ri and Kotori.  We fought our way through there.  And once we got up into the Reservoir, my outfit was on the east side of the reservoir, the 5th Marines.  And we were there for a few days.



One of the unusual things that happened while we were there.  We were getting supplies from the air drop.  The mortars have what they call



a Tootsie Roll.  It’s a round thing like a container that has the ammunition in it.  Well, there was a nickname that had been given to them like a Tootsie Roll.  And so, they ordered Tootsie Rolls.  Well, that’s what we got in the air drop was real Tootsie Rolls and concertina wire and things like that.  Barbed wire we called it.



There was no food that we got. I guess the enemy got that because some of the parachutes dropped into their area.  Then we left the east side of the reservoir and turned it over to the Army and part of the 3rd Marines I think it was.  What was it called?



I can’t think of it right now.  But anyway, it was the British Marines, the 41st Brigade or whatever they were.  Anyway, they took over our position because the 7th Marines who were on the west side of the Reservoir were having a little trouble over there.



So, they needed some support.  They pulled us out.  We went over there to give them support on the west side of the Reservoir.  The 5th Marines went straight north after we helped them out enough to where they could start all over again.  And by that time, the Chinese had entered the War.



And we had no idea that they were going to be there or anything.  We got surrounded, not knowing that at the time.  We were pulled out and told that we had to go back down the MSR to Hungnam area,

I:          There are two that are really close, huh?
D:        Yeah, they’re very close together and very



similar in speech.

I:          Yeah.

D:        We were told to go back and fight our way back in that direction.  And we had to fight or way back.  I was volunteered as an FO, I wasn’t needed anymore, a Forward Observer.  I was on the Forward Observer team.  And we were not needed in that capacity.



We were needed as Infantrymen. So, they volunteered me to be one of the personnel that was in the back of the convoy to protect the rear of the convoy.  And I think this is around December 3 or something like that that we were fighting



the rear.  And the 7th Marines were heading back down the MSR.  They were opening up that portion, and the 5th Marines were just keeping the enemy off of the mountains on the east side and the rear.  And I was one of the last few out of the Reservoir area



into Hagaru-ri where we were all reconnecting there before we went on the rest of the way.  During all of this, my job was to pick up the dead or wounded and put them in a truck as well as fight our way to prevent the enemy from coming up from the back.



So, we were always collecting the dead and putting them in the pickups.  And there was one incident that we were really under fire.  And we were running out of ammunition.  That was short always while we were up there.  And I remembered that some of



the dead personnel that we put on the trucks had ammunition. So, one incident, I climbed up on the back of the truck and accidentally put my knee into the stomach of this one dead person, and his eyes opened up.  And I don’t know if he was alive or not.  I thought he was at the time.  I



told him I was getting ammunition, and I got no answer of course.  But I told him I was getting ammunition because we were running short and told him that I’d try to come back and see if he’s okay later on. Well, I never did get back.  So, I don’t know if he survived or if he was even alive at that time.  I just know that when I put my knee in his stomach that his eyes popped open, and that scared me to death.



But I did get the ammunition.  And I was able to run around and give some ammunition back to some of the guys that were fighting.  There were only about eight of us back there.  So, we were fighting like that all the way from Yudam-ni to Hamhung and Hungnam



before we boarded the ships.  We were one of the last ones to board the ship other than the personnel that were sending explosives there to destroy everything.  They were actually the last ones on.  But we were the last of the fighting ones.  And then we got on the ship.  One incident on the ship that I recall,



I was very scared all the time and freezing to death.  I went up into the second deck and got underneath one of the exhaust that comes out of the bottom of the ship.  And it was warm.  So, I crawled under there, and I fell asleep.  Well, I fell asleep all the way back to South Korea.  We went



back to Masan to the Bean Patch.  And like I said, I was there, other people were showering and getting good and what have you.  I got nothing because I was sound asleep trying to stay warm underneath the heat of that exhaust.  It could have been pretty bad because no telling where that exhaust was coming



from.  But I don’t remember a lot about, I remember the Yudam-ni and Hungnam being exploded. In other words, they set off the ammunition, not bombs.



What am I trying to say.

I:          Small explosives.

D:        Explosives, thank you.  They set off all the explosives and destroyed most of the area.  A lot of the civilians were getting aboard the ships.  And I don’t know how many there were.  And like I said, I don’t remember a lot more than that of North Korea.  There were incidents, I fell in the ice,



for instance, at the Chosin Reservoir.  When we were on the west side of the Reservoir, we got word that some of the, where we were at on the east side, some of those military personnel were overrun by the Chinese.  And they had no officers or enlisted to



help give them directions.  So, they were out there on the ice trying to find a way to where we were at.  And we were told to go out and see if we could give them a hand.  So, I was volunteered again for that.  It was at nighttime.  And when you’re out there on the ice and the moon is shining.  It’s white, and you’re a black spot on the ice, well they wouldn’t be shooting at us.



So, they started shooting as we were just getting out there on the ice. And this buddy of mine was trying to take cover.  All he had to do was fall down and whatever.  We were still close to the shoreline.  So, we started back to the shoreline.  And he and I fell in through the water.  And every time we tried to get out of the water,



we would get shot at.  So, we stayed in the water for I don’t know how long.  But he started saying I’m giving up.  I can’t do anything.   So, I grabbed him and just threw him on the ice.  And then I couldn’t get out myself right away.  But I did. I finally crawled out of the ice, and he was more or less



able to start moving.  And so he and I headed for the shoreline, we were close anyway.  But once we hit the solid ground, we started running.  And we ran all the way back to the command post.  And when we got there, the


Corpsman put us in this warmup tent that was there, and they wouldn’t let us get near the stove.  They put us out by the outer edges of the tent so that we wouldn’t thaw out real fast.  And while we were in there and some of the people from the front lines were coming back to get warmed up and then they’d go back out again.  But anyway,



the Chinese broke through our lines and started firing on that tent because there was smoke and flames going out the top of the tent from the stove.  And they started firing on it.  Of course, everybody scattered including myself and my buddy.  And a lot of people were running, and there was snow on the ground.  And I hollered and I told them don’t run, just stop and lay down.  Otherwise, they’re gonna shoot you



cause they’ll see you moving.  And I told them not to shoot because then they’d see the tracers.  Some did and some didn’t listen to me good.  I laid there for what seemed like hours to where I had completely, my clothing being wet, just completely froze solid.  I think that’s what really saved me because my own temperature.



This is me analyzing.  My own temperature in the little cocoon I was in kept me alive or something.  But the next morning, we had already filled that hole where the Chinese had come through.  The Communists I should say instead of Chinese because that’s what it was was Communists.  And the next



morning, I remember they had started building fires.  And this one was kind of dying out.  So, I pushed all the coals and everything over, and I laid down my bedding, and I laid down and tried to go to sleep again and get warm in a



sleeping bag.  Blew this trigger, and all of a sudden this went off right over my head.  And I was ready to kill him.  I was so mad.  And I just tore into him.  That was just one of the incidents that happened.  And then we went back through that village because this was when we were called back at that time.



For what reason, I think we were getting ready to make another push north.  But we were called back, and we had to go through the village.  And we started getting hit again by some of the enemy.  I, at this time, do not know if they were North Korean or if they were Chinese Communists.  But we got hit, and my officer, we were in the riverbed which goes right through the village.  And we were walking



in the riverbed, and we got hit with small arms fire.  And our officer at Blue Team, a forward observer officer, he called in the artillery on the village.  And we were so close to the village that we got hit also with our



own artillery.  And he got hit in the face, and he couldn’t talk or anything.  So, I ended up trying to call back, you know, cause I was the radio man at the time, and I was trying to call back and get them to stop firing.  And I don’t know if they heard me or not.  But I was pleading with them, I



do know that, to cease fire.  And finally, they did cease fire.  But we had a lot of casualties of our own people I think from the artillery because of that.  It was just one of those incidents that happens.  And it wasn’t the artillery personnel’s fault, and it wasn’t the FO’s fault



because we were trying to get the village destroyed, and we were in the village or at the edge of the village.  So, it was just one of those things.  We were a little too close.  Then we went back to, they called us back, and we were there just waiting to be called out and do something else.  And the replacement officer came up to me ad he said.



You’ve had more time here than anybody else, and you’ll be rotated back to the United States.  And of course, I was elated at the time.  And it wasn’t an hour later he came back, and he said oh, I’m sorry.  You’re not gonna be able to go.  There was another person in one of the other platoons that is coming back, and he has more time than you do.  And so, I



accepted that.  I had to, of course.  And then about an hour later after that, he came back again and he says well, you’re going after all because he got wounded, and he’ll be put on a different rotation than I was on.  So, I was chosen, and I went back home.

I:          Wow.



D:        And.

I:          When was that?

D:        That was in March of 1951.

I:          Have you had any wounds?
D:        No.  I don’t have any, I wasn’t wounded by ammunition.  I have 100% disability because of neuropathy in my hands and my feet, my legs



and arms from the cold injury.  But as far as being wounded, no.  My mind may have.  I have PTSD.  I have 50% PTSD awarded to me, also, from the VA.  So, I’ve got about 150 some



percent, but I only get 100%. What they give you.  It’s the maximum, I guess.

I:          So, for a little bit after you came back to the States, has it been hard to talk about the War and think about it?
D:        I never talked about it at all.  I never talked about the War hardly any time to anybody, not my family.  Later on, I got married and I didn’t talk to my



children about it or anything else.  Because of whatever reasons, we got divorced, and I remarried this lovely lady here, Eleanor.  And I was having bad dreams, PTSD dreams at night.  And she could tell you



more what I was doing.  Sometimes I was running in my sleep, I guess.  My legs were going, and my arms were swinging and what have you.  I do remember one incident that I almost, I thought I was gonna kill her because I thought it was the enemy, and I had a rifle in my hand, and I was going to, I had the butt of the rifle, and I was going to swing it at her.  And I



caught myself just in time.  I woke up.  She was hollering probably.  I don’t know.  I don’t recall.  But anyway, I’m having these bad dreams.  I didn’t’ remember a thing afterwards.  So, she told me one time why don’t you write down immediately after you have these dreams?  And I did. I started writing



down little notes, and I ended up with quite a stack of notes.  And because of it, I ended up writing a nine-page letter with all of this information that I just now shared with you, the bad incidents that I did.

I:          Is that published anywhere?  Is it available?
D:        Yeah, I’ll give it to you if you wish.  I don’t have it with



me, but I could send you a copy.

I:          Yeah.

D:        No, it is not published.  And as far as I’m concerned, if it’ll help somebody or another Marine, Army, military, Navy, what have you with PTSD, I’d be glad to share that with them.

I:          So, that writing out was what helped you to

D:        It helped me, it did.  Writing it out helped me to understand what I really went through because I wouldn’t talk about it before.



I:          That was Eleanor’s suggestion?
D:        Yes.  And since then, I’ve shared it with my children.  Of course, I got accolades from them.  And sorrow as well.

I:          Yeah.

D:        But

I:          Cause now you are the Las Vegas Chapter President.  You said a few months ago, you went to Korea.  You spoke.



D:        Just last month.
I:          Just last month.

D:        On the 15th I think it was, in that vicinity anyway.  I went to South Korea with the Chairman of the Board of the Marine House USA.  He invited me to, I should say the Founder of the IYF which is International Youth Federation.  The Founder is Huk Su Park,



and he asked that I give a speech through our Chairman.  And so, I gave the speech on the 15th I think it was.  And it’s been published by them to all their organizations.  It’s a very nice program.  But I only



spoke for about 10 minutes.

I:          I’m sure that’s online somewhere, yeah.

D:        Yeah.  It’s on YouTube.

I:          Okay.

D:        And I found out last night that if you go to YouTube and you just put my name in, Delbert Ray Houlette, it comes up.  That’s what I was told.  I don’t know about that.

I:          Yeah.

D:        I have copies of it.  I don’t know how to send them anyway.

I:          Yeah, right.



It’s almost the hour of the next interviewer might come anytime.  So, we want to wrap it up soon.

D:        Oh, gee whiz.

I:          I’m just so amazed that yeah.  You went through all that, and you said, you know, years of suffering from the memories you couldn’t talk about it.  But now you are talking to, and you went to Korea to talk.

D:        Yes.  I did the same thing.  That was what I went for was to share my


experiences with the young people over there to let them know so that it’ll never be forgotten as to why they have what they have now.  And it was because of people like myself who went over there to do what we did, whether it was voluntary or what,



we went over there, and we did it.  And I found that since I’ve been over there twice now, I was over there last year and then this year, I found that the people in Korea are very receptive to the veterans, both those in Korea, in other words the KMC’s and the ROK’s.  They



respected them so much that they’ll come up to, young people will come up to you and thank you for your service for what we did and things like that.  It was just amazing.  And this last time, the first time I went over it was with a group of about seven or eight people.  And everything was on a regimen type, going here and seeing that, what have you.  But this time when I went,



I went just with the Chairman, and we drove around all over South Korea.  I gave two speeches, one at the World Peace Conference or something like that for this IYF.  Then the other one was to a group of IYF personnel.  And



while we were driving around, I got to see a lot of Korea that I’d never seen before.  And I was amazed that they’re just like the United States in many cases where their highways for instance are actually better than ours because they’re newer than ours.  The buildings are better than ours cause they’re newer than ours.



Everything is just, to me, enormous change.  From when I was there in ’50 and ’51 because, for instance, Seoul was just a small village.  It did have maybe three or four stories as the highest building they had.  Speaking of that, when we were going through



Seoul, when we were liberating, the enemy had a tank inside of one of these brick buildings, and they were shooting out the window at us.  And nobody knew where all this was coming from.  But I think we found out where it was.  And of course, we had to get rid of that.  But I digress.  The people of Korea



have really become like me I guess, like Americans.  Their children now, I think it’s mandatory to speak English in their classes.  I met a lot of high school kids



that gave me leis and wrote me letters and things like that when I was there.  It was very interesting the last two trips.

I:          Yeah.

D:        Especially this last trip last month.

I:          Koreans and the Americans, you know, physically we don’t look alike.  We’re from maybe like opposite sides of the world, different ancestors.



But I mean even for me, having learned about the history, whenever I see someone just walking around and they have something that shows that they were in the Korean War,

D:        Um hm.

I:          I feel like they’re my grandpa.  Like I just wanna, you know, just somehow acknowledge.

D:        Yeah.
I:          Sometimes I kind of worry like if, you know, am I like interrupting them.  But I just have this

D:        I don’t think it would ever happen.

I:          Yeah.  So, I think.

D:        I think they would accept your thanks.



I would hope they would anyway.  Speaking of that, I had an interpreter this last trip, a young girl.  Probably your age or, I don’t know how old you are.  But anyway, she was around 23, I think.  And she was my interpreter.  And I ended up telling her, I said, well, you could be my granddaughter, you know, because we had young children, grandchildren.



And so, after I got back, she wrote to me, and she sent me the two videos.  And she said your Korean granddaughter. So, I thought that was cute.

I:          Maybe as my last question, what would you like to say to the younger generations?  To me, you are someone that overcame something so difficult.  And you’re so strong, and you’re now telling the younger generation about it.  But you know, what do you think is very important for us



to know for this generation of kids, whether American kids of Korean kids, that hopefully we don’t experience what you went through.

D:        Um hm.

I:          But I feel like there’s something, I mean, lots of things to learn from you, someone that went through that and overcame also the difficulties that came afterwards.

D:        Um hm.

I:          What would you say that you really want us to remember and know and keep?

D:        I would say



never forget your childhood.  Never forget your ancestors, what they went through to give you what you have.  It’s very important that any child or person never forget the history of their country and who gave them the life that they have.



It’s so important.
I:          Okay. I’ll remember that.  Thank you so much for your time.

D:        My pleasure.

I:          And thank you, Eleanor.