Korean War Legacy Project

Gilberto Rodriguez Orama

Bio

Gilberto Rodriguez Orama’s full interview video is available for viewing. A primary review, which will include the creation of a bio and highlighted clips with summaries, is forthcoming. Please check back for updates.

Video Transcript

[Beginning of Recorded Material]

 

INTERVIEWER: Ok papi, vamos a empezar hablando un poco sobre tu vida, yo quero que ti me digas tu nombre, donde naciste? Cuando?  Me hables un poco de tu mamá, de tu papá, de tus hermanos… no te muevas mucho, quédate derechito…

INTERVIEWER: Okay Daddy, we are going to begin talking something about your life. I want you to tell me your complete name, when, and where you were born and, talk to me about your father, your mother, your siblings. (Don´t move too much)

 

RODRÍGUEZ-ORAMA: No señora si, pero espérate…

RODRÍGUEZ-ORAMA: (I know, but wait)

 

0:00:30

 

I: Empieza, dime tu nombre, ¿donde naciste y háblame algo de abuela bebe, de abuelo Emiliano, de tu familia? ¿Cuál es tu nombre?

I: Give me your name, where were you born. Tell me something about Grandma Bebe, Grandpa Emiliano, of your family. Which is your name?

 

RO: Gilberto…

RO: Gilberto…

 

I: Mi nombre completo…

I: My name, complete…

 

RO: Mi nombre es Gilberto Rodríguez Orama.

RO: My name is Gilberto Rodriguez Orama. 

 

I: ¿Donde naciste?

I: Where were you born?

 

RO: Nací en el sector de Hoyo Frio de Jayuya.

RO: I was born in the sector of Hoyo Frio in Jayuya.

 

0:01:00

 

I: ¿Cuando naciste? En el 27, Diciembre del 27.

I: When were you born? In 1927? December 1927?

 

RO: Ahi estaba…

RO: (Here is not written because…)

 

I: ¿Cuéntame algo de abuela bebe, abuelo Emiliano, de tu familia?

I: Tell me something about Granma Bebe, Grandpa Emiliano, of your family.

 

RO: Bueno mi papa nació en Jayuya en el barrio Coabey…

RO: Well, my father was born in Jayuya, in the neighborhood Cuavez.

 

0:01:30

 

RO: …Mamá nació en barrio Zamas de Jayuya, ahí fueron creciendo hasta que se casaron.

RO: Mom was born in the neighborhood Sama of Jayuya. They grew there until they got married.

 

I: ¿Cuantos hijos tuvieron?

I: How many children did they have?

 

RO: Hijos… Ocho.

RO: Children? 8

 

I: ¿Cuantos miembros de tu familia fueron al ejercito?. 

I: How many members of your family went 

 

0:02:00

 

I: ¿Cuántos de ellos fueron a Corea?

I: to the Army? How many of them went to Korea?

 

RO: El único fui yo.

RO: The only one was me.

 

I: ¿El único que fue a Corea fuiste tu?

I: The only one who went to Korea were you?

 

RO: El único.

RO: Yes.

 

I: ¿A Donde fueron los otros hermanos tuyos?

I: Where did your other brothers go?

 

RO: Fueron a Panamá, a Alemania y… 

RO: They went to Panama, to Germany, and 

 

0:02:30

 

RO: …y a Estados Unidos.

RO: to the United States.

 

I: ¿Hasta que grado tu estudiaste antes de ir a la guerra?, ¿Antes de ir a Corea, hasta que grado tu llegaste a estudiar? 

I: Up to what grade did you study before going to the war? Before going to the war, up to what grade did you study?

 

RO: Me gradué, me había graduado de cuarto año.

RO: I had graduated from 4th year.

 

I: ¿Hasta que grado estudiaste… 

I: Up to what grade did you study 

 

0:03:00

 

I: …antes de salir para Corea?

I: before leaving for Korea?

 

RO: Hasta octavo grado… no…

RO: Up to 8th grade.

 

I: ¿Hasta que grado estudiaste antes de salir para Corea?

I: Up to what grade did you study before leaving for Korea?

 

RO: Hasta … pero espérate… apágala otra vez. 

RO: (Wait, this is turned off)

 

I: ¿Antes de salir de Corea hasta que grado estudiaste?

I: Before leaving for Korea, up to what grade did you study?

 

RO: Hasta cuarto año.

RO: Up to 4th year.

 

0:03:30

 

I: ¿Antes de salir para Corea hasta que grado estudiaste?

I: Before leaving for Korea, up to what grade did you study?

 

RO: Ya había terminado el cuarto año, antes de salir para Corea ya había terminado el cuarto año.

RO: I had already finished my 4th year. Before leaving for Korea, I had already finished 4th year.

 

I: ¿Sabias algo de ingles?, ¿Cuándo ingresaste, cuando fuiste a Corea, tu sabias algo de ingles, el idioma ingles?

I: Did you know any English? When you went to Korea, did you know any English? The English language?

 

RO: Sabia… Antes de salir para Corea sabia el idioma ingles pero no muy desarrollado.

RO: Before leaving for Korea, I knew English, but not very developed.

 

0:04:00

 

I: ¿Antes de ir a Corea, tu eras estudiante, tu no trabajabas, no tenias ninguna trabajo, eras estudiante?

I: Before going to Korea, did you were a student? Didn´t you work? Didn´t you have any job? Where you a student?

 

RO: Estudiante.

RO: Student.

 

I: ¿Que tu recuerdas, cual fue la reacción que tu tuviese y que el pueblo de Puerto Rico tuvo cuando se anuncio la guerra de Corea?…  

I: What do you remember was the reaction that you had and that the people of Puerto Rico had when the Korean War was announced? 

 

0:04:30

 

I: …en una oración completa, ¿cuándo se anunció esa guerra, como tu te sentiste y como tu recuerdas que el pueblo, el país de Puerto Rico reaccionó?, en una oración completa. Cuando…

I: In a complete sentence. When that war was announced, how did you feel and how do you remember the country of Puerto Rico reacted? In a complete sentence. When the Korean War was announced, 

 

0:05:00

 

I: …¿Cuando se anunció la guerra de Corea, que tu recuerdas, que como tu te sentiste? ¿cuándo dijeron hay guerra en Corea, explotó la guerra?

I: what do you remember about how did you feel? When they say, there is a war in Korea, the war exploited?

 

RO: Este… cuando explotó la guerra de Corea, en la escuela empezaron a darnos información de lo que era una guerra, de en que situación estaba… 

RO: Well, when the Korean War began, in the school, they began to give us information on what a war was, on what situation 

 

0:05:30

 

RO: …cubierto el Pueblo de Puerto Rico y ahí empezamos a escuchar información en todos lo periódicos en la escuela, en todo eso hasta que vino el reclutamiento. 

RO: the people of Puerto Rico was covered, and then we began to listen to the information in all the newspapers, at the school, until the draft came.

 

I: ¿Tu tenias idea donde era Corea?

I: Did you have an idea where Korea was?

 

RO: No, yo no tenia idea… 

RO: No. No, I didn´t have any idea 

 

0:06:00

 

RO: …donde era Corea.

RO: where Korea was.

 

I: ¿Conocías algo sobre la historia de Corea? ¿Conocías algo de la historia de Corea o tu no sabias nada de la historia de Corea?

I: Did you know anything about the history of Korea? Did you know anything about the history of Korea or didn´t you know anything about Korea?

 

RO: Era como estaba tan lejano, y os estudios de historia y todo eso eran tan limitados, no tenían una idea de lo que era.

RO: Since it was so far away and the study of history was so limited, I didn´t have any idea about Korea.

 

0:06:30

 

I: ¿Tu no fuiste voluntario al ejercito, a ti te…?

I: Didn´t you go as a volunteer to the Army?

 

RO: Yo no fui voluntario al ejercito porque a medida que fue pasando el tiempo, fui conociendo lo delicado que era ingresar a un cuerpo militar, 

RO: I didn´t go as a volunteer to the Army because as time passed by, I knew how delicate it was to join a 

 

0:07:00

 

RO: …e igual que muchos muchachos estaba que invitaba a ingresar?

RO: military force. Like many other kids, I was drawn to join it. 

 

I: ¿Cómo tu te sentiste cuando te enviaron a Corea, cuando te dijeron, tienen que ir a Corea, cómo tu te sentiste?

I: How did you feel when they sent you to Korea? When they told you, you had to go to Korea? How did you feel?

 

RO: Cuando nos informaron que ya habíamos… 

RO: When they informed us that we had 

 

0:07:30

 

RO: …terminado el entrenamiento básico para ir a Corea, y la información que había en los periódicos y que se comentaba en la comunidad, nos sentimos un poco preocupados, un poco no, bastante preocupados.

RO: finished training, the basic training to go to Korea, and the information that was in the newspapers and what was talked about within the community, we felt a bit concerned. Not a bit, very concerned. 

 

I: ¿Tu sentías en aquel momento…

I: Did you feel 

 

0:08:00

 

I: …que era tu responsabilidad ir a Corea?

I: at that moment that it was your responsibility to go to Korea?

 

RO: Ya la información de los radiales que había y era lo que mas había, todo el mundo se… el pueblo por lo pequeño se unía a escuchar las noticias y ahí es que nos empezó a 

RO: The information on the radio was more than good. Well, everybody in the town, which was a small one, got together to hear the news. And then it began… 

 

0:08:30

 

RO: …ya había estado en la escuela y eso… a hacer conciencia de la responsabilidad que era ir a la guerra.

RO: I was in school, to be conscious about the responsibility that goes to the war was.

 

I: ¿Cuéntame como tu llegaste al ejercito?

I: Tell me, how did you arrive in the Army?

 

RO: Por el reclutamiento obligatorio.

RO: By a compulsory draft.

 

I: ¿Te enviaron una carta?

I: Did they sent you a letter?

 

RO: Ah si, nos citaron para el examen físico y ahí luego del examen físico… 

RO: Yes, they called us for a physical exam, and there, during the physical exam, 

 

0:09:00

 

RO: …vi compañeros míos que no fueron reclutados por H o por M, por alguna enfermedad, entonces los que nos reclutares nos mandaron para… después del exámenes físico nos dieron unos días y entonces nos reclutaron para el entrenamiento.  

RO: I saw some classmates who were not recruited for this and that, or for some disease. So the ones who were recruited, after that physical exam, gave us some days and then recruited us for training.

 

0:09:30

 

I: ¿Te acuerdas en que año fue eso?

I: Do you remember what year was that?

 

RO: No me acuerdo si fue por ahí en el 50, no se.

RO: I don´t remember if it was in 1950, I don´t know.

 

I: ¿51?

I: 1951?

 

RO: Si, 50 o 51.

RO: Yes, maybe 19521.

 

I: Cuéntame el entrenamiento que a ti te dieron, ¿tu crees que fue… 

I: Tell me, do you think…

 

0:10:00

 

I: …un entrenamiento completo, te prepararon?, ¿tu sentiste que después de ese entrenamiento estabas preparado para ir a la guerra de Corea?

I: ….the training they gave you was complete? Do you feel after that training, you were prepared to go to the Korean War?

 

RO: Como ya habían ido otros muchachos, habían ingresado, ahí durante el entrenamiento que fueron muchos con muchas ilusiones y muchos… 

RO: Since other guys had already gone, they had entered, well, during the training there were many with many dreams 

 

0:10:30

 

RO: …cambios de vida y esas cosas, empezaron a tener problemas mentales, empezaron a enfermarse los muchacho y hubo un poquito de aumento en la salud de los muchachos y nosotros los que nos quedamos acá, esperando los resultados en lo que nos reclutaban a nosotros…

RO: about a change in life and those things, they began to have mental problems. The guys began to get ill and there was a bit of increase in the health of the guys and the ones who stayed there, waiting for the result of … 

 

0:11:00

 

RO: …a nosotros nos daban, a la familia de nosotros empezaba la preocupación. Si hubo…

RO: When they recruited us, our families began to get worried.

 

I: ¿Pero como fue el entrenamiento, tu crees que el entrenamiento físico que les dieron cuando se los llevaron a entrenar, tu crees que los preparo para la batalla de Corea?

I: But, how was the training? Do you think the physical training they gave you when they took you for training, did prepare you for the battle of Korea?

 

RO: No porque eso lleva un proceso de poco a poco, lo que pasa es que había primero…

RO: No, because that must have a process step by step. 

 

0:11:30

 

RO: …empezar por educación de los hijos con los padres y hacer una orientación grande de lo que era la guerra, porque ese era el avance fundamental, muchos no pasaron de ahí. Los padres n se digan, otros se fueron voluntarios porque era una novedad. Pero… 

RO: They should have begun first with the education of the children by their parents. To have information about what war was because that was the fundamental base. Many didn´t go over it. Others went as volunteers because it was a novelty. But 

 

0:12:00

 

RO: …los que tuvimos que ir, parece que naturalmente Dios nos ayudó y tuvimos suerte.

RO: the ones of us who had to go, naturally God helped us and we were lucky. 

 

I: ¿Tu recuerdas a que unidad y a que compañía te asignaron?

I: Do you remember to what unit and to what company were you designated?

 

0:12:30

 

RO: Cuando terminamos el adiestramiento nos mandaron a compañía en Puerto Rico en el país de nosotros y hasta que nos fuimos desarrollando y entonces nos asignaron a los que estaban ya combatiendo.

RO: When we finished training, they designated us to a company in Puerto Rico, in our country, until we developed and then they designated us to the ones who were already fighting. 

 

0:13:00

 

I: ¿Cuál era tu especialidad?

I: Which were your specialty?

 

RO: ¿La mia?

RO: Mine?

 

I: Aha.

I: Yes.

 

RO: Bueno, nosotros éramos benditos ignorantes y después que tu empiezas el adiestramiento, los que te están educando están observando… 

RO: Well, we were ignorant. And after you begin training, the ones who are educating you and those things, are observing 

 

0:13:30

 

RO: …las habilidades que tu tienes y donde te asignaban que era mas un desarrollo mas rápido y mas efectivo, y después de que terminamos el entrenamiento, en todos los ordenes básicos del ejercito, y ahí ya los adiestradores pues seleccionaban la habilidad de uno y ah pues que este por etapas.

RO: the abilities you had and where did they assign you. It was a faster and more effective development. And it was then when we finished training in all the areas, the basic training of the Army and then the trainers choose, depending on our abilities. It was by phases.

 

I: ¿Y a donde te asignaron a ti?

I: And where were you designated? 

 

0:14:00

 

I: ¿Tu eras infantería?

I: Were you in the infantry?

 

RO: Infantería.

RO: Infantry.

 

I: ¿Cuanto te pagaban por ser soldado?

I: How much did they pay you for being a soldier?

 

RO: Caramba, eso si no recuerdo porque… los primeros que reclutaron de los hermanos que fueron unos cuantos… los primeros… 

RO: I don´t remember because… The first ones who were recruited from my brothers, who were quite a lot, well, 

 

0:14:30

 

RO: …asignaban una cantidad del sueldo que ganaban y ese era el que pagaba y había mas hermanos que le daban ayuda a los padres o algo así, pero oficialmente por la cuenta de ellos, asignaban una cantidad básica para los padres.

RO: they allocated a portion of the salary they earned. More brothers sent money to their parents by themselves, but officially, the Army allocated a basic quantity for the parents.

 

0:15:00

 

I: ¿Cuando llegaste a Corea, que tu recuerdas fue tu primera impresión, cuando llegaste a Corea?

I: When you arrived in Korea, what do you remember was your first impression? When you arrived in Korea.

 

RO: Cuando llegue a Corea, la primera impresión que vi fue… 

RO: When I arrived in Korea, the first impression I saw, I am not going to forget it. 

 

0:15:30

 

RO: …los escolares, los muchachitos que estaba en la escuela, muchas escuelas ya no existían, nada sino, debajo de arboles y esas cosas, eso eran los cuadros que uno vio al principio y se veía el entregue que tenían esos muchachos en aprender… 

RO: The students, the kids who were in the school, many schools were destroyed, so they were under the trees and those things. Those were the pictures we saw in the beginning. And you could see the interest those guys had in learning.

 

0:16:00

 

RO: …era un motive de uno de interés por ver la actitud de ellos y de los padres, fue una buena impresión. Cuando yo fui, el tiempo que yo fui ya. Y había interés de la ciudadanía, de los padres que su hijos se desarrollaran, eso me impresionó…

RO: It was a reason to be interested in their attitude and from their parents. I was a good impression when I went. And there was an interest from the citizens, from the parents and the children for them to develop. That impressed me, 

 

0:16:30

 

RO: …nos impresionó, teníamos oportunidad a veces de antes de que empezaran las clases y cerca de nosotros que se acercaran y hablar con ellos. Y habían muchachos que servían de interpretes también. 

RO: it impressed us. Sometimes, we had the opportunity of… before the classes began, to talk with them. They were guys who served as interpreters, also.

 

I: ¿Te acuerdas de los lugares que fuiste a Corea?

I: Do you remember the places you went to in Korea?

 

0:17:00

 

RO: Caramba… Bueno me acuerdo cuando fuimos a… cuando llegamos que fui a la capital y de ah empezaron a dividirnos y… 

RO: Well… I remember when we arrived, we went to the capital. And then, they began to divide us and,  

 

0:17:30

 

RO: …tuvimos, por lo menos en el  caso mío, tuvimos unas buenas impresiones por ver el interés de los muchachos de aprender, y aprendían español y aprendían de todo rápido, y entonces ellos cuando antes de entrar a la casa tenían conversación con nosotros los que podían, esa fue una de las impresiones buenas que tuve yo.

RO: at least in my case, I had good impressions seeing the interest of the guys to learn. And they learned Spanish and learned fast. They would get up early and before going to class, they would talk to us. That was a good impression I had there.

 

I: ¿Cómo eran tus condiciones de vida… 

I: How were your living conditions…

 

0:18:00

 

I: …en Corea, como era la comida, donde tu dormías, los uniformes que me cuentas de cómo fue tu vida en Corea?

I: in Korea? How was the food? Where did you sleep? The uniforms? What can you tell me about how was your life in Korea? Your living conditions in Korea?

 

RO: Cuando subimos al frente de batalla, había que hacer un hoyo para protegerse uno y las comidas llegaban… 

RO: When we went up to the frontline, we had to make a hole to protect ourselves. The meals arrived and…

 

0:18:30

 

RO: …y entonces pues los muchachos que no eran antiguos en aquel tiempo tenían que ahí mismo meterse con nosotros y aprender, y aprendían con facilidad. 

RO: The guys were active at that time. They wanted to learn from us. And they learned easily.

 

I: ¿Y donde tu dormías?

I: And where did you sleep?

 

0:19:00

 

RO: Hacer un hoyo, nosotros cuando estábamos en el frente, en un hoyo, cubiertos en un hoyo.

RO: We did a hole. When we were in the frontline, in a hole. Covered in a hole.

 

I: ¿Ahí dormian?

I: Did you sleep there?

 

RO: Ahí.

RO: There.

 

I: ¿Y los uniformes eran buenos, los uniformes?

I: And the uniforms? Where they good? The uniforms?

 

RO: Si, militares, si.

RO: Yes, the military? Yes. 

 

I: ¿Mientras tu estuviste en Corea, recibiste cartas de la familia?

I: Meanwhile you were in Korea, did you received letters from the family?

 

RO: Si.

RO: Yes.

 

I: ¿Quien te escribía?

I: Who wrote to you?

 

RO: ¿Ah?

RO: Pardon?

 

I: ¿Quien te escribía?

I: Who wrote to you?

 

RO: Pues de casa, información de todos…

RO: From home, everyone, 

 

0:19:30

 

RO: …ah y algunos amigos que me mandaban cartas también… si.

RO: some friends sent me letters as well. Yes.

 

I: ¿Como fue el trato de los oficiales con ustedes?

I: How was the treatment of the officers to you?

 

RO: ¿El…?

RO: What?

 

I: El trato, el trato. ¿Cómo los trataban a ustedes los oficiales?

I: The treatment, the treatment. How did the officers treat you?

 

RO: ¿Los oficiales? Bueno eso es militar, pero 

RO: The officers? Well, that is military. But 

 

0:20:00

 

RO: …el militar tenia que cuidarse con el trato de nosotros, o sea que ellos también estaban bien, pues en el caso mío no tuve problemas nunca, nunca.

RO: the military had to be careful about the way they treated us. They were also well. In my case, I never had any problems. Never, never.

 

I: ¿Sentiste discriminación en algún momento, discrimen?

I: Did you feel any discrimination against you at any time? Discrimination?

 

RO: No, si lo hicieron allá ellos que yo no sabia o que se yo que, pero discrimen no.

RO: No. If they did it, I didn´t hear, but not discrimination.

 

I: Discrimen no.

I: Not discrimination. 

 

0:20:30

 

I: ¿Como te afectó a ti el clima de corea, el clima, que tu recuerdas del clima?

I: How did the Korean weather affect you? The weather? What do you remember about the weather?

 

RO: Bueno, hay un invierno allí que es bastante fuerte, fuerte. Y entonces pero se hacían los hoyos esos y gracias a Dios estoy vivo, a o sea que se protegía.

RO: There is a very strong winter there. So, we did those holes, and thanks to God I am alive. So we protected ourselves.

 

0:21:00

 

I: ¿Sentiste mucho frio?

I: Were you too cold?

 

RO: Pues mire que… nosotros nos protegíamos con los equipos militares que eran excelentes, y si acaso había que hacer algo mas pues había estufas, buscaba las maneras de hacerlos, o sea que combatimos el clima.

RO: We protected ourselves with the military equipment, they were excellent, so if maybe we had to do something else, we were looking for ways to do it. We fought the cold.

 

I: ¿El frio?

I: The cold?

 

0:21:30

 

RO: El frio.

RO: The cold.

 

I: ¿Cual fue, que tu recuerdas que fue la batalla mas difícil en la que tu participaste? ¿cuál fue la batalla mas difícil que tu recuerdes?

I: What do you remember was the most difficult battle in which you participated? Which was the most difficult battle you remember?

 

RO: Que yo me acuerde. Batallas hubo…

RO: That I remember? The battles were… 

 

0:22:00

 

RO: …yo te dijera que el… lo mas que ,e preocupaba a mi fue que estábamos en el frente y el pelotón de nosotros se perdió. Y llegamos a las narices de… 

RO: I would say… What worried me the most was when we were in the frontline and our platoon fought and we got news 

 

0:22:30

 

RO: …de los chinos y entonces con tan buena suerte que ya se estaba poniendo de noche, y mientras mas de noche se estaba poniendo mas nos estábamos metiendo en la boca del león, y alguien de los que van adelante… 

RO: from the Chinese and we were so lucky that it was getting dark. The darker it was, the closer we were to the mouth of the lion. And someone, someone from the ones who were in the front, 

 

0:23:00

 

RO: …se dio cuenta que estábamos metiéndonos en la boca del león, y de noche y entonces pues nos pararon y nos dieron que siguiéramos andando para atrás y llamando para atrás. Y dándole la… donde estábamos nosotros 

RO: realized that we were getting into the lion´s mouth and, at night, so they stopped us and sent us back, back. And calling there, to the back. And tell them where we were, 

 

0:23:30

 

RO: dándoles las dirección, a esa hora, donde podían estar, para donde podían separarse, hasta que salieran los rayos del sol. Ese que el recuerdo mas preocupante que yo… hasta que subimos con tan buena suerte de que amaneciendo y estaban…

RO: at that time. Where could we were, where could we go, until the sun’s rays came out. That is the most worrying memory that I had. That we had. We were so lucky that when dawning, 

 

0:24:00

 

RO: …aviones dando, no para acá si no por encima de nosotros por allá cerquita, o sea bregando y todo y ahí nos sacaron una escolta, pues que carajos haya en aquellos montes. Ese es el recuerdo mas que tuvimos nosotros.   

RO: airplanes were shooting and they took us out from those mountains. That is the most … memory that we had.

 

0:24:30

 

I: ¿A ti te hirieron en Corea?

I: Were you wounded in Korea?

 

RO: ¿Ah?

RO: Pardon?

 

I: ¿Te hirieron en Corea, fuiste herido?

I: Were you wounded in Korea? Were you wounded?

 

RO: No, gracias a Dios.

RO: No, thanks to God.

 

I: ¿Tu recibiste alguna medalla?

I: Did you received any medals?

 

RO: ¿Ah?

RO: Pardon?

 

I: ¿Alguna medulla recibiste?

I: Did you received any medals? 

 

RO: Pues mira que si y creo que eso de campo por allá. Si nos dieron…

RO: Yes, one of those of the campsite there. They gave us…

 

I: Una medalla.

I: A medal.

 

RO: No, no específicamente a mi sino 

RO: No, specifically to me, 

 

0:25:00

 

RO: al batallón, reconocimiento.

RO: they gave it to the battalion as a recognition.

 

I: ¿Cual fue tu experiencia mas impactante de la Guerra?

I: Which was your most impactful experience of the war?

 

RO: La Guerra es guerra, la guerra es guerra, pero…

RO: The war is the war. The war is the war, but 

 

0:25:30

 

RO: …había mucho muchacho, jóvenes y eso, que se enfrentaron, donde estábamos nosotros y entonces les gustaba mucho aprender, aprender español, aprender de esto, aprender le que se echa, y entonces conocer… pero bastante…

RO: there were many guys, young, who got close to where we were and they liked to learn. To learn Spanish, to learn this and that, and to learn, but a lot, 

 

0:26:00

 

RO: …bastante, hablaban mucho español, y eso pues entusiasmaba a uno porque uno dar saludo mijo y no a tiro limpio nada mas y había la otra parte ve. 

RO: a lot. And they talked a lot in Spanish. And that, motivated me because there was not the only savagery, but there was another part in that.

 

I: ¿Tuviste amigos que fueron contigo a la guerra?

I: Did you had friends who went with you to the war?

 

0:26:30

 

RO: ¿Amigos?

RO: Friends?

 

I: ¿Amigos de tu pueblo de Jayuya?

I: Friends from your town, from Jayuya?

 

RO: Si. Pero para que… para recibir la puñalada mas grande que he recibido, la de Marco. 

RO: Yes, to receive the biggest stabbing I have ever received. The one from Malcolm.

 

I: ¿Que pasó con Marco?

I: What happened with Marco?

 

RO: Marco Massini.

RO: Marco Massini.

 

I: ¿Quien era Marco Massini?

I: Who was Marco Massini? 

 

RO: No Marco no era, era… si Marco me parece, vivía casa con casa allí pegado.

RO: Was not Marco… I mean, yes I think it was Marco. He lived next to my house there.

 

I: ¿En tu pueblo?

I: In your town?

 

RO: En Jayuya…

RO: Yes, in Jayuya.  

 

0:27:00

 

RO: …y me hizo pelotero a mi cuando estábamos en la High, y éramos como hermanos, esa fue la mas… entonces allá era un…

RO: And he cut my hair when we were in high school. And we were like brothers. That was the most… So there, it was…

 

I: ¿Qué paso con Marco?

I: What happened with Marco?

 

RO: ¿Ah?

RO: Pardon?

 

I: ¿Qué pasó?

I: What happened?

 

RO: Casa con casa, allá en la High me enseño a jugar pelota, y éramos hermanos… 

RO: The house was next to mine, there in high school, he taught me to play ball, so we were brothers. 

 

0:27:30

 

RO: …entonces Marcos era un hombre atleta, un atleta y un… era… ¿cómo le llaman a eso?, Un atleta, era entonces de adelante, de los rifles y de los de eso, 

RO: So, Malcolm was an athlete, an athlete. He was… how do they call that? He was a good athlete. So, he was a fan of the riffles and that 

 

0:28:00

 

RO: era un experto en eso, y cuando estábamos en la high y cuando salió al ejercito lo hicieron de eso de… era un experto en eso… es era, estaba el grupo de eso, ¿cómo le llaman a eso? Los… bueno…

RO: and he was an expert in that when we were in high school. And when he joined the Army, they named him… how do they call that?… He was an expert in that. So they belong to the group of… how do they call that?… Well, and since he was an expert 

 

0:28:30

 

RO: …y como era experto en eso, cuando legamos allá el ejercito, a la compañía, al regimiento, a el lo hicieron miembro de jefe del cuerpo de nosotros, que van adelante, mas adelante… 

RO: in that and when we arrived in the Army, to the company, to the regiment, they named him a member of …, member, the chief of our body. The ones who go in the front, they go in the front. 

 

0:29:00

 

RO: …y en la mañana salimos por allá para el frente, y eso del el salió primero que nosotros para hacerse posiciones allá, y entonces va, cuando íbamos a regresar o cambiar de posición de otro lado para allá, el Marco era… 

RO: And one morning, we went to the front and his group went before us, to take a position there and then, when we were going to come back, or to change position to another place there, Malcolm was 

 

0:29:30

 

RO: …miembro de ese cuerpo y salieron, dieron la salida y se fueron, y nosotros bastante atrás, bastante porque ellos iban a reconocer área de esa donde estaba ya de ahí yo “muchacho”, entonces salen y va dando una vuelta, una… 

RO: a member of that group and they got out. They gave the exit and they left and we were way back behind, quite behind, because they were going to recognize the area. They got out and made a round. 

 

0:30:00

 

RO: …cuando toca pasar por un sendero de esos, eso estaba minado de…

RO: When I saw that we passed a town, that was mined with…

 

I: De minas.

I: Mines.

 

RO: …De balas, de balas chinas para que no fueran a pasar para allá. Entonces, parece que había una esas… de las marcas que hay 

RO: With bullets from China, so they couldn´t go through there. So, it seems one of the signals that were there, 

 

I: Mhm.

I: Mhm.

 

RO: …se había… que habían puesto los chinos…

RO: the ones that the Chinese had put, 

 

0:30:30

 

RO: …iba a pasar para allá, nosotros. No se como, la tenían escondida, Marco y se había desaparecido, por ahí voló la… y mató a Marco e hirió a unos cuantos. Las minas esas que llaman, ahí se acabo caña. Por eso es que… muchacho…

RO: was going to pass over there. I don´t know if they had it hidden and it had disappeared. It killed Malcolm and other people. The mines. He fell there. They were kids. 

 

0:31:00

 

RO: …¿sabes lo que es eso? Entonces como a los… no me acuerdo, como a las dos semanas, y voy a acordar y era mecánico, ¿ve? Y… 

RO: Do you know what that is? So, since, since the… I don´t remember if two weeks later… And Ivor Jordan was a mechanic and… 

 

0:31:30

 

RO: …aparece, que era mecánico, el no debía de estar allá, cuando bajábamos nosotros, cuando baja, baja llorando, no hablaba y digo: “¿Qué pasa? 

RO: he appeared, he was a mechanic, he was not killed there. When we were going down, he came down crying, he couldn´t talk. I said, what is happening? 

 

I: Mhm.

I: Mhm.

 

RO: “Mataron a Marco”…

RO: That Marco got killed. (sobbing) 

 

I: Mhm.

I: Mhm.

 

0:32:00

 

RO: …bueno… a mi se me fue la voz y dos o tres que habíamos un montón de gente, que amigos ya de andar y del hombre y amigos míos. “Que mataron a Marco”, “¿y Como?”, tampoco pudo hablar mas…

RO: Well, I lost my voice. There were many friends there. Did they kill Malcolm? He couldn´t say anything either. 

 

I: Mhm.

I: Mhm.

 

RO: Igual que fue lo que paso con otros compañeros.

RO: The same happened to other mates. 

 

0:32:30

 

I: Mhm.

I: Mhm.

 

RO: No pudo hablar mas. Bueno… se siguió un poco la cosa y no vi mas a Marco, mataron a… eran uno o dos jeeps, pero el jeep… 

RO: He couldn´t say anything. Well, we continued for a while and we didn´t see Malcolm. They killed him. There was a jeep, 

 

0:33:00

 

RO: una zapa, una zapa de esas. Que iban de eso de esos que van al frente. Bueno… Mato a… y vos no pudo hablar mas. No podía, porque bajo para allá para la otra puntera… 

RO: a car like that, that was in the front. It killed them. And Ivor could say anything else. He couldn´t and he run down to his motor pool. 

 

0:33:30

 

RO: …y ya se sentó alrededor porque vinieron llamadas y vienen de esto y la vieron la condenada, zapa de ellos fue a mirar en un sitio y piso la zapa de ellos, muchachos de ellos, entonces pues…

RO: And there were calls and so on. Their group went to see a place and step into a mine.  They were kids. So… the entire car blew away. 

 

0:34:00

 

RO: …la zapa completa voló y porque el fue por la tarde, y como el trabajaba en el motor pool, y siempre estaba mas cerca de nosotros y ahora vuelta atrás y esa tarde llegó y cuando llegó no pudo hablar mas y ¿yo que pasa?…

RO: He worked in the motor pool and he was closer to them. That afternoon, they arrived and when he arrived, he couldn´t talk. When he arrived, I asked him. what is happening? 

 

0:34:30

 

RO: …pues el era el que iba conmigo pues eran como hermanos. 

RO: We were like brothers. 

 

I: ¿Tu habías llegado a hablar con Marcos?

I: Had you talked with Malcolm?

 

RO: ¿Ah?

RO: Pardon?

 

I: ¿Habías llegado a hablar con Marco antes que el muriera?

I: Had you talked with Malcolm before he died?

 

RO: Si todos los días, porque ellos están allá y moviéndonos para el frente, moviendonos y entonces por las tardes y por la noches…

RO: Every day, because we were there moving towards the front. So at night and in the afternoons…

 

I: Hablabas con el.

I: You talked with him?

 

RO: Hablaba de vez en cuando y entonces pues, no, no, imagínate tu, 

RO: We talked sometimes. And then… no, no, no, 

 

0:35:00

 

RO: porque eso es que los Massini no quieren hablar conmigo.

RO: you can imagine. Those Massini counted on me.

 

I: Ok, vamos a seguir papi.

I: Okay, we are going to continue, daddy.

 

RO: Ah, perdona, lo que trajeron de allá fue, lo trajeron el cadáver, al tiempo. Se hizo un  entierro, si, de la de ahí esta… 

RO: Sorry, what they brought from there was, they brought a corpse some time afterward. The burial was made [00:33:29 inaudible]. 

 

0:35:30

 

RO: …mira que maravilla. Bueno.

RO: But… it was wonderful.

 

I: Okay, cuéntame papi, después de regresar de Corea, ¿cómo tu crees que la guerra de Corea impactó tu vida?

I: Ok, tell me, daddy, after you came back from Korea, how do you think the Korean War impacted your life?

 

RO: Bueno… eso.. eso es…

RO: Well, 

 

0:36:00

 

RO: …eso impacta a todo el mundo. Eso es un fenómeno, como ese llama eso, es un cambio radical, ahora lo que pasa es que esta la parte humana, que tu conoces gente, gente que se enferma la mente, que esto y que lo otro y todo eso, pero cuando están allá, los que estamos allá… 

RO: that has an impact on everyone. That’s a phenomenon… how do you call it? That is a change… how do you call it? Radical. What happens is that there is the human aspect. That you meet people, people who get ill, their minds and this and that. but when they are there, when 

 

0:36:30

 

RO: …solos, entonces esos seres humanos que están al lado tuyo, que estamos en ese tipo de vida, olvídate, tu porque crees que las guerras son así, la gente un respeto y una hermandad, 

RO: we were there, alone. Those are human beings the ones by your side, they were in that type of life. Forget about it. Do you think they are like that? Because people gain respect and brotherhood. 

 

0:37:00

 

RO: …porque le toque a uno de eso, hay muchachos que se ponen medio loco y eso, pero es una guerra, el que toque un muchacho de eso, es que los tocan de acá y de acá y se pelean también, pero no… pero allí…

RO: Some guys got crazy and this and that, but it is a war. Whoever touches one of those guys… they also fought. But, there.

 

I: Son familia, son hermanos…

I: You are family. You are brothers.

 

RO: ¿Ah?

RO: Pardon?

 

I: Son familia…

I: You are family.

 

RO: No… que estén en una hermandad, una cosa que bueno, dar una vida. 

RO: There is a brotherhood you can´t imagine. You give your life. 

 

0:37:30

 

RO: Y eso lo vive uno en los otros en los que estuvimos en el frente allá. Y por eso es que… muchacho…

RO: And those of us who were in the front there lived that. And that is why…

 

I: ¿Después que…?

I: After…

 

RO: Digo perdona, eso lo viví yo, y lo vivimos miles, miles porque somos como hermanos allí, caemos y eso… empecé a conocer familias… 

RO: Sorry, I lived us and thousand more live that. We were like brothers there. I knew their families. 

 

0:38:00

 

RO: …y vienen allá y visitan la familia, empiezan a conocer acá también, o sea que esa es la parte… que todo no es una guerra de… no.

RO: They come from there and visit the family. They began to know us also. So that part also exists, it is not only a war, no. 

 

I: Que hay algo bueno también.

I: There is something good also?

 

RO: Ah no. Ojala. Tu conoces gente, conoces valores y entonces conoces también con pena y dolor, los que se vuelven locos, los que se vuelven viciosos, porque tampoco es que les de por el gusto o gana, es porque tienen…

RO: Yes. You know people, you know values. You also know, with sadness and pain, the ones who got crazy, the ones who became addicts, not because they liked it, it is because they are…

 

0:38:30

 

I: Afectado.

I: Affected.

 

RO: Afectado.

RO: Affected.

 

I: ¿Después que regresaste de Corea, cuando regresaste de Corea, que hiciste con tu vida?

I: After you came back from Korea, when you came back from Korea, what did you do with your life?

 

RO: Pues llegué a casa a trabajar, porque no… tuve que esperar para matricularme y esas cosas.

RO: I arrived at my home to work. I had to wait to register and those things.

 

I: ¿Fuiste a la universidad?

I: Did you go to university?

 

RO: Si fui.

RO: Yes, I went. 

 

0:39:00

 

I: ¿Con el GI Bill?

I: With the GI bill?

 

RO: ¿Ah?

RO: Pardon?

 

I: ¿Con el GI Bill? ¿Con que pagaste la universidad?

I: With the GI bill? How did you pay the university? 

 

RO: Ah si… yo cuando el caso mío que fue de los primeros, la matricula y esas cosas y…si. 

RO: Yes, in my case, which was one of the first ones… the registration and those things… yes.

 

I: ¿Qué tu sabes….

I: What do you know 

 

0:39:30

 

I: …de Corea ahora? ¿Cómo tu comparas el Corea al que tu fuiste al Corea de ahora?

I: about Korea now? How do you compare Korea that you went to in current Korea?

 

RO: ¿Corea… al de ahora?

RO: The current one? 

 

I: El Corea que tu fuiste cuando fuiste a la guerra.

I: The Korea you went to, when you went to war…

 

RO: No, no, no. Tiene que decirlo de otra manera… al Corea que te llevaron, al que te llevaron como que era… 

RO: No, no, no. You have to say it in another way. To the Korea they took you (laughing), to the one they took you 

 

0:40:00

 

RO: …una novedad…

RO: It was a novelty. 

 

I: Mhm.

I: Mhm.

 

RO: …y entonces al que fui ahora, al que fui después de…

RO: And then, to the one I went now, the one I went after…

 

I: ¿Al que esta ahora, el Corea que esta presente?

I: The one that is now: The Korea that is present. 

 

RO: Fue muy diferente. Ayayay muchacho, y yo vi fíjate, esa juventud, esos niños, toda esa gente ahí, que no… viviendo eso ahí…

RO: Well, it was very different. Ay, ay, ay. And I saw … people, that youth and those children how were they living 

 

0:40:30

 

RO: …que no y el de ahora. 

RO: that there, which was… no, no and the current one…

 

I: ¿Después de tantos años que han pasado de la guerra, cual es tu opinión acerca de la participación tuya y de los demás Puertorriqueños en la guerra de Corea, cual es tu opinión, después de que han pasado tantos años? 

I: After so many years that have passed since the war, which is your opinion about your participation and the one of other Puerto Ricans in that war? In the Korean War. Which is your opinion, after so many years?

 

0:41:00

 

RO: Es una nada mas, eso no debe de existir, eso no deja nada, nada, nada, porque hay tata gente buena, tanta gente que se cuelan los bandidos esos que hay en el mundo, que estamos en ley, que estamos guerra, no tenemos paz, ni tenemos tranquilidad y ni tenemos nada.

RO: It is only one. That can´t happen, it shouldn´t happen. Nothing about war, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing. Because there are so many good people, there are so many people that those bandits sneak in that are in the world. We are at war. We don´t have peace, neither tranquility nor nothing. 

 

I: Mhm.

I: Mhm.

 

RO: Ah… y cada día peor, 

RO: And each day is worse. 

 

I: Mhm.

I: Mhm.

 

0:41:30

 

RO: …pero aquella gente tenían el deseo. El deseo de seguir viviendo y levantando la vida y vivirla ahora como esta este mundo, eso es bachata, eso es degeneración del mundo, vicio y eso, no hay calidad para nadie, ¿te fijas?, Perdona, perdona, por eso, el caso mío…

RO: But those people had the desire, the desire to keep living and raising life. And now, having a world as it is now, with bachata, that is degeneration of the world, vice. There is no charity for anyone. Do you notice? But wait, excuse me, excuse me. That’s why, in my case, 

 

0:42:00

 

RO: …y en el caso de miles porque los habemos, odian, yo vivo en Jayuya, y es como yo, hay gente y vamos haciendo la vida como Dios manda, y entonces otros que tampoco la están haciendo porque se les da la gana…

RO: and in the case of thousands still, because we know it, they hate… I live in Jayuya and like me… in all the towns we are doing life as God commands. Then others, who are not doing it because they don’t feel like it, 

 

0:42:30

 

RO: …a otros los enferman, con el vicio, con la poca vergüenza, con la degeneración y estamos…

RO: make others sick with vice, with little shame, with degeneration. We are… we are…

 

I: ¿Cual tu crees que ha sido el legado de la Guerra de Corea?

I: What do you think is the legacy of the Korean War?

 

RO: ¿Como ve?

RO: What?

 

I: ¿El legado de la guerra de Corea?

I: The legacy of the Korean War.

 

RO: ¿Que yo que?… 

RO: That I what?

 

I: …¿Cual ha sido el legado, el legado de la guerra de Corea?

I: Which has been the legacy, the legacy of the Korean War?

 

0:43:00

 

RO: La bondades que hay y la infidelidades que hay. Ve, por eso es que te estoy diciendo, per mira, tu sabes que las muchachas se casan y se tienen ya que cansar de criticarme, pero yo no bajo al pueblo… 

RO: I understand the kindness that there is and the infidelity there is, eh? That’s what I’m telling you. But look. You know the girls at home have to get tired of criticizing me. I don’t go down to the village. 

 

0:43:30

 

RO: …yo vivo mi vida en aquella esquina, si puedo hacer bien, si pedo lograr el bien, pero… 

RO: I live my life on that corner over there. If I can do good, if I can do good, but…

 

I: Dejame preguntarte papi. ¿Tu apoyarías la reunificación de Corea del Norte y Corea del Sr?

I: Let me ask you, daddy. Would you support the reunification of North Korea and South Korea?

 

RO: ¿La que?

RO: What?

 

I: ¿Apoyarías que se unieran las dos Coreas? 

I: Would you support that both Koreas got together?

 

RO: Yo, si, si…

RO: I support it, 

 

0:44:00

 

RO: …yo apoyo que todo el mundo este unido. Lo que pasa es que desgraciadamente es lo que pasa, son dos mandadas, una que pretende eso que el mundo se una, que haya religión y que haya todas esas cosas, y entonces el otro por la esquina haciendo esas barbaridades. Que es un monstruo eso.

RO: I support that everyone is united. What happens is that unfortunately, what happens is that there are two herds. One that pretends that, that the worlds get united, that there is religion and all those things. And the other, in the other corners, making those barbarities. That is a monster.

 

I: Déjame hacerte… 

I: To conclude 

 

0:44:30

 

I: …para concluir la entrevista papi. Te voy a dar la oportunidad, esta entrevista la van a ver muchas personas, y quiero que tomes estos minutos para que expreses, lo que tu quieras expresar acerca de tu experiencia en la guerra de Corea. 

I: the interview, daddy, I am going to give you the opportunity. This interview is going to be watched by many people. And I want you to take these minutes to express whatever you want to express about your experience in the Korean War.

 

RO: ¿De que?

RO: About what?

 

I: ¿Acerca de tu experiencia en la guerra de Corea, algún  mensaje que les quieras… acuérdate que el propósito… 

I: About your experience in the Korean War. Any message that you want. Remember that the purpose 

 

0:45:00

 

I: …de este proyecto, es para que la guerra de Corea y el sacrificio que ustedes hicieron ahí no se olvide, que quede en la historia para siempre? ¿Qué mensaje tu les darías a los que ven esta entrevista?

I: of this project is for the Korean War and the sacrifice that you did there won´t be forgotten. That it remains in history forever. What message would you give to those who will watch this interview?

 

RO: ¿Que, que?

RO: What?

 

I: ¿que mensaje, acerca de… lo que tu quieras decir acerca de Corea, de tu experiencia?

I: What message about whatever you want to say about Korea, about your experience.

 

0:45:30

 

JONGWOO HAN: (in English) My name is John Wuhan. I am the President of Korean War Legacy Foundation. And this project is to preserve the memory of the Korean War Veterans, especially from Puerto Rico. And I am [00:45:59 inaudible] Puerto Rico

 

0:46:00

JH: February 13, 2016. It is my great honor to meet you and especially you are the father of my good friend Gisella Rodriguez. She is being helping me to organize these whole series of interviews. She is working, skating and videotaping, interviewing. I don´t know how to thank to have beautiful daughter like Gisella. And the whole family is here, so I would like 

 

0:46:30

 

JH: to ask some questions. First, would you please introduce yourself?

 

Anita Ortiz: (English) I am Anita Ortiz Arbona. I am Gilbert´s wife.

 

JH: When did you marry him?

 

AO: In, eh…

 

I: What year? 

 

AO: Ah, I married in April 9 1960.

 

0:47:00

 

JH: 60?

 

  1. Yeah.

 

JH: So, you didn´t know him before he went to Korea, right?

 

AO: Yes.

 

JH: You did?

 

AO: Before, I have a… When I know him, I have a … When I know him… When I met him, I was 

 

0:47:30

 

AO: 16 years, no?

 

I: 15, 15

 

AO: 15 years

 

JH: Ahh.

 

AO: 15 years. And then, he was 25. And I 15t when I met him.

 

JH: You liked him? That old man? My goodness.

 

AO: I was a baby when I met him. (Spanish) He had come from Korea.

 

I: (English) They didn´t know each other before Korea. 

 

0:48:00

 

JH: Okay.

 

I: They met when he came back.

 

AO: When he came back. 

 

JH: Okay.

 

AO: I met him. 

 

JH: Ah, so then, you didn´t know he was in Korea then?

 

AO: No. I don´t know. 

 

JH: Ahh.

 

AO: No, no, no.

 

JH: I was just about to ask you whether did you write a letter to him to Korea when he was there?

 

AO: No, no, no.

 

JH: Okay.

 

AO: No, no.

 

JH: Okay. Did he talk about his experience in the Korean War to you? 

 

0:48:30 

 

AO: Yes, he told me many experiences when he was in Korea.

 

JH: Normally, those Korean War veterans they don´t talk about it. Your husband is different. Maybe he talked too much. (laughing)

 

AO: Yes.

 

JH: So, tell me, what did he talk to you about the Korean War? Do you remember anything?

 

AO: He told me when he have a… 

 

0:49:00

 

AO: …friend from Jayuya.

 

JH: Ah ha.

 

AO: And he told me, (Spanish) when something. (English) When he was killed. He tell me when the best friend, about 22 years, was killed in Korea. And he, he always remember it.

 

JH: Was he just beside him?

 

AO: What?

 

JH: That is why you cried?

 

0:49:30 

 

I: That´s, yeah.

 

JH: Ah, okay.

 

AO: Yeah.

 

JH: Does he has nightmares? In the dream?

 

AO: Yeah. Yes, very frequently.

 

JH: Ohh. Tell me about it.

 

AO: He began to, to (Spanish) How do you say “scream”?…

 

I: Throw punches and scream and shake.

 

JH: Ah.

 

AO: In one occasion,50:00  those nightmares, he, this hand, I was near him sleeping, then he do this…

 

JH: Ohh.

 

AO: And I … But he was sleep, he was having that…

 

JH: Nightmare, hmm. That is what we called PTSD, post dramatic…

 

I: Disorder.

 

JH: PT…

 

AO: Disorder, disorder post, post…

 

JH: Yeah. PTSD.

 

0:50:30  

 

HH: Post dramatic symptoms.

 

AO: Yes.

 

JH: And what did you feel when he was having nightmares and he was punching in the air and screaming? What did you feel?

 

AO: I feel (Spanish) scare.

 

I: Scare.

 

AO: I am scare, afraid.

 

JH: Hmm

 

AO: And sometimes, when I know when he is going to have that 

 

0:51:00 

 

AO: nightmare and then when I know that he is going to have that episode, I try to…

 

I: Wake him up.

 

AO: Because I am afraid when he started all the time, shaking, screaming. And when I know that he is going to have that  

 

0:51:30 

 

AO: episode, I try to wake up him.

 

JH: So, it must be very hard for you to observe.

 

AO: Yes.

 

JH: But he doesn´t do anything during the day, right?

 

AO: No, during the night. The night only.

 

JH: Only night?

 

AO: Only night.

 

JH: How often does he do that?

 

AO: Ehh. Frequently.

 

JH: Hmm. This is the pain.

 

0:52:00 

 

AO: And then when he saw the notice in TV.

 

I: The news.

 

AO: The news in TV of the fight in Korea, I say don´t watch that because is going to have this night the…

 

JH: Ah ha.

 

AO: He is always remember it, in Korea.

 

JH: Could you give the microphone to her? And would 

 

0:52:30 

 

JH: you please introduce yourself? Your name and the relationship here, yes?

 

Idalis Rodriguez: (English) Sure. My name is Idalis Rodriguez. I am the youngest sister. I am the youngest of 6, of 6 sisters. I was born and raised in Jayuya, in our street by my parents, so I can of know, I think what my dad 

 

0:53:00 

 

IR: went through when he was in Korea. I also wanted to mention that I think for the last three years, maybe he is getting older and that´s when I really started hearing his experiences in Korea which much more detail. So, that´s, I think, when I learned that experience that he had in Korea. 

 

0:53:30 

 

IR: Because usually before that, he used to talk about it but not that much. Not that into detail.

 

JH: What do you know about Korean War?

 

IR: Well, from history or from my dad?

 

JH: Whatever.

 

IR: In general?

 

JH: Yeah, whatever.

 

IR: Well, I know he didn´t want to go there but he had to because it was not optional, so. And I know that 

 

0:54:00 

 

IR: it was a very… it was a lot of life lost there. I know that, from what I have seen recently, with your interviews, I know that, I would say 90% of the veterans have the post traumatic syndrome and I know what the families have to go through. I wish my dad had spoken before, maybe he could had been

 

0:54:30  

 

IR: …treated and he didn´t have to suffer all these years because I know that is something he has inside and he suffers for it and I wish we could had done more to help him. 

 

JH: When did… Did you learn anything about the Korean War in your school? In high school, middle school?

 

0:55:00 

 

IR: Not at all.

 

JH: Not at all. 

 

IR: Not at all.

 

JH: Not at all. What do you think about the importance of the Korean War?

 

IR: I think, I think we need to thank you for this initiative because I think this is something that the world has to know. The world has to know exactly how it happened because this is probably the most important war in human history.

 

0:55:30 

 

JH: Why?

 

IR: Because it has impacted the world, from, from, the world, the entire world. The American people, Korean people, us and all the different countries. Latin-American countries, that are not even mentioned. Not in history. When you hear about the Korean War, you hear about Koreans and Americans but not the people who really fought and lost their lives there. So, I think it is important that people around the world know about the real

 

0:56:00  

 

IR: history. And I think that I personally, in my family´s name, want to thank you for that.

 

JH: Is my thanks. And behalf of Korean nation and Korean government, we want to thank you all because his sacrifice and his fight, he didn´t know anything about Korea, he didn´t want to go to Korea. Why do you want to go some country you don´t 

 

0:56:30 

 

JH: know at all? And willing to die?

 

IR: Right.

 

JH: I mean, this is ridiculous. Isn´t it? And he went there. The country he saw was miserable. That´s why he was crying. He lost his friend. So many people, 2 million civilians died. 2 million. 37,000 American soldiers killed. But especially the Puerto Rican soldiers were in the whole phase 

 

0:57:00 

 

JH: of the Korean War. They shared much more blood than any other ethnic group. So, that is why it was a disastrous war and when he left Korea, Korea was miserable, because it is all flatten. But now because they came, like your father, fought for us and giving us opportunity to rebuild our nation, Korea is the 11th largest economy in the world.

 

0:57:30  

 

JH: 11th largest…

 

IR: Wow.

 

JH: The South Korea do not have any oil. We don´t have a drop of oil. We don´t have that much natural resources. It is complete destroyed but now we are the 11th largest economy, with the size of Indiana state. 

 

IR: Wow.

 

JH: Yes, in 30 years we became the 11th largest economy in the world. We are the 7th largest trading partner to the United States. We are the strongest ally 

 

0:58:00 

 

JH: to the United States in East Asia, including Japan. Your father´s fight and all those pains, the PTSD never being wasted, never being wasted. This is the most. It may sound very politically incorrect to say this, but, Korean War was the best outcome in the wars that US has ever 

 

0:58:30 

 

JH: involved since WWII. I wrote about that book, about the Korean economic development, on presidentially rapid and democratization at the same time. Never being happened. But that was possible because you fought for us. So that is why we are doing this. I want to recorded and our young generation has to know.

 

IR: That´s right.

 

JH: Your friend. 

 

0:59:00 

 

JH: I am so sorry, but his life never being wasted. Okay.

 

IR: Hmmm.

 

JH: I want you to know and I want American people to know about it. That is why we are doing this. Okay? Please you give the microphone to Gisella?

 

IR: Sure.

 

JH: Ahh. Please, Gisella.

 

I: Yes.

 

JH: We contacted each other in the 

 

0:59:30 

 

JH: last year, right?

 

I: No, it was actually…

 

JH: Was it 2004?

 

I: It was three years ago.

 

JH: Three years ago? Oh, my goodness.

 

I: Three years ago.

 

JH: Tell me about it.

 

I: The reason all this came about, was because my dad found his friend, that he met in Korea…

 

JH: Yeah.

 

I: In Korea, but he was from Puerto Rico. So, he found his friend after 60 years. They didn´t see each other after they left Korea. They didn´t see each other for 60 years, so

 

1:00:00  

 

I: he found him. We went to visit him and I wanted to record the reunion because I thought this is once in a life time. I mean, who is giving the opportunity to see somebody after those many years? And after sharing that experience in Korea? So, we made a video about the reunion. And when it was done, I said this is something the world needs to see. So, I went to the computer and I found, you know, different

 

1:00:30  

 

I: organizations. And I started emailing the video. And one of the people who responded to the video was you. 

 

JH: Hmm.

 

I: And that how the first email, I still have it, Jongwoo. You sent an email, you know, saying about, you know, giving opinions about the video and then, right then, you said, I want to go to Puerto Rico. And I want to do this interview because I have this digital library but I don´t have representation from Puerto Rico. 

 

1:01:00 

 

I: So, then I said, count me in. Remember that, Jongwoo? I said count me in and I´ll do my best. I don´t know how am I going to do it but I promise you this is going to happen. And it took three years because in the middle of that, you know…

 

JH: Ahh.

 

I: My daughter and all that. But then you contacted me again. And I say well, I have been out of commission, because I had, you know, a family crisis, but we are going to make this happen. I promise you Jongwoo, we are going to make this happen. And then,

 

1:01:30  

 

I: here we are. 

 

JH: Here we are.

 

I: And then we found Nohemi, which she has been incredible. Nohemi Figueroa, she has been wonderful. She helped with the whole logistics of the trip and the interviews. But this is how, this is how everything came about. And I am beyond thankful that you came, that you took and interest. Because we, just the same way, believe it or not, Jongwoo. Just the same way you have lived 

 

1:02:00 

 

I: the whole experience, because you are from Korea, we have been impacted the same way. Just because, you know, my dad went and fought in the Korean War, but we, sort of that, absorbed the whole, I guess, the result of it, you know. We lived through it, we were born and raised with Korea and his experiences. And my sister is right. I wish we knew the magnitude…

 

1:02:30 

 

JH: Hmmm.

 

I: Because we knew things, we kind of off, if you will, somethings didn´t make sense, but we couldn´t put a name to it. We just… until recently when he started, you know, talking more about it, in more detail. And then we put everything together and we understood, you know, everything. How he has been affected. His life has been affected by his whole experience. Ah, he doesn´t regret it. 

 

1:03:00 

 

I: He feels, you know, that he did his part, but it took it all.

 

JH: Yes.

 

I: It took it all. 

 

JH: I want to thank you for make these things really possible, because otherwise, you know, I don´t think I would be able to do it and I think we have to do more.

 

I: Absolutely.

 

JH: Because, your father, how old is he?

 

I: 87.

 

JH: 87. 

 

1:03:30 

 

JH: We all die.

 

I: Yes.

 

JH Our life is all limited and timed.

 

I: Yes.

 

JH: And in ten years, I don´t think we will see more Korean War veterans. So,

 

I: No. 

 

JH: We can keep in touch and continue to work on this legacy.

 

I: Absolutely.

 

JH: This is a legacy.

 

I: Absolutely.

 

JH: You know, they came to a country, they left, they wanted to forget about it. That country came out beautifully.

 

I: Absolutely.

 

JH: And that is a biblical metaphor. It John, Chapter 

 

1:1:04:00  

 

JH: verse 46. If you read John, Chapter 1, 46, you will know that Jesus began to pick up his disciples and he picked up his disciple Philip. And Philip had a friend, his friend was Nathaniel. And Philip said to Nathaniel that here is Jesus, from Nazareth. And Nathaniel, do you know how replied back to Philip? 

 

1:04:30 

 

JH: He said: what good can come out of Nazareth? Because Nazareth, the north of Israel was bear, gentile, bad area, because there are so many different small gods, they wordship. So, the Jewish people in the south, they disregard. So, there is nothing good about Nazareth, but out of Nazareth, Jesus came, right? The country that you saw

 

1:05:00 

 

JH: in 1950 to 53 was like Nazareth. Nobody thinks of it as important. It was bad. You remember right? It was bad country. Miserably poor. Everything bad. Completely destroyed. Now, as I told you, is the 11th economy in the world. It is like Jesus came out of Nazareth, now Korea, 11th largest economy in the world came out of 1950

 

1:05:30  

 

JH: Korea. So, I use that biblical metaphor to explain how Korea was able to come out of these miserable conditions. It was you and many from Puerto Rico. So, I would like to thank you all and I think as a family, we need to really talk more about it. 

 

I: Absolutely.

 

JH: So before, you know, we need to talk more and sooth him, 

 

1:06:00 

 

JH: console him, give him our encouragement so that he can talk more.

 

I: Yes.

 

JH: And this is great. This is a great session. I wish we can do these things. Any other messages that you want to add to this interview?

 

I: ¿Papi, algún otro mensaje que tu queras decir antes de que se acabe la entrevistas? Acerca de tu experiencia en Corea, ¿algún otro mensaje para la humanidad? 

I: (Spanish) Daddy, any other message that you want to say before the interview is done about your experience of Korea? Any other message for mankind? 

 

AO: ¿Para los que van ahora para allá?

AO: For those who are going now to…, to the guys?

 

1:06:30

 

I: Para a humanidad… 

I: For mankind?

 

AO: Para a humanidad…?

AO: For mankind?

 

I: …Acerca de la guerra. Algo que tu queras decir.

I: About the war? Something that you want to say?

 

RO: Bueno…

RO: Well…

 

I: Miralo a el…

I: Look at him.

 

AO: Mira para allá y di lo que tu quieras.

AO: Look over there…and what ever you want to say, my love.

 

1:07:00

 

JH: Go ahead.

 

RO: La experiencia yo he podido adquirir en el mundo porque… 

RO: The experience that I could had acquire, in the world because I… had been 

 

1:07:30

 

RO: …he tenido la suerte de que mis padres, la vida que vivieron ellos, que los mas que simpatizaron ellos en su vida fue el trabajo.

RO: lucky that my parents, the life they lived. What they most empathized with in their lives was the work, the union 

 

1:08:00

 

RO: …la unión de los vecinos que tuvieron en su nacer y desarrollo fue siempre el trabajo, no importa la clase de trabajo que fuera, pero en el trabajo se unían, se dividían… 

RO: of neighbors that they had in their birth and development. It was always work, no matter what work it was. In the work they were united, they divided the, the 

 

1:08:30

 

RO: …el triunfo del trabajo y todo el mundo alrededor, los vecinos y todo eso, disfrutaban de esa participación del trabajo en la madera que lo hacían, en la agricultura, en la escuela, donde quiera… 

RO: triumph of the work and everybody around, everybody around, the neighbors and all of them enjoyed that participation of the work in the way they did it. In agriculture, in school, wherever.

 

1:09:00

 

RO: …y eso cuando había que celebrar el triunfo de esas actividades, se veía el desarrollo y el bienestar entre toda la comunidad, cerca, los vecinos, a mi me toco vivir eso. En ese caso darle gracias a Dios… 

RO: And that, when they had to celebrate the triumph of all those activities, the development and the wellbeing could be seen, among all the community, among the neighbors. I had to live that. I don´t get tired of thank God and  

 

1:09:30

 

RO: …y disfrutar con mis amigos, hoy en día tenemos la desgracias de que disfrutar las cosas , los triunfos tiene una intromisión de algo raro, de algo malo que no cree en el diario vivir…

RO: enjoy with my friends. Now a days, we had the misfortune that enjoying the things, the triumphs that enjoying things, the triumphs have an intrusion of something strange, of something bad. That they do not believe in daily life. 

 

1:10:00

 

RO: …estamos viendo, unos desastres mundiales, donde el mundo se están viendo cosas que son demasiado, demasiado de inconcebibles y ahora mismo, ahora mismo e el mundo, donde el país tiene…

RO: And we are seeing world disasters, where in the world we are seeing things that are too much, too inconceivable. And right now, right now in the world, right now, where the country has 

 

1:10:30

 

RO: …cierta riqueza, cierta cosas para hacer una buena inversión, a través del mundo tres o cuatro, tres o cuatro personas en el mundo son dueños y señores de la riqueza del dinero  del trabajo que seria, que es… 

RO: certain wealth and certain things to make an investment, throughout the world, three or four, three or four people in the world, are owners and lords of the wealth, of the money or of the work. Today it would be 

 

1:11:00

 

RO: yo diría el alma mater para vivir un mundo de riqueza, un mundo de salud para el mundo entero, entonces lo que estamos viendo una cosa que no va a tener fin, o mejor que va a tener un fin desastroso, si no hay… 

RO: the alma mater to live a world of wealth. A world of health for the whole world. So, what we are seeing is a thing that is going to have no end, you know? As we have been told, it is going to have a disastrous end. If there is not, 

 

1:11:30

 

RO: …si no hay, aquella vida que vivimos nosotros cuando éramos muchachos, que no había riquezas pero había dignidad había vergüenza, había cooperación, había respeto, había deseos de progresar, la cosa es distinta…

RO: if there is not that life that we lived when we were kids, that there was no wealth but there was dignity, there was shame, there was cooperation, there was respect, there was a desire to progress. Things are different.

 

1:12:00

 

RO: …si no hay un cambio estamos mal, esa es la impresión que yo tengo.

RO: If there is no change, we are in bad shape. That is the intuition I have.

 

JH: (English) Can you summarize it, briefly.

 

I: (English) Briefly, basically what he said was when he was growing up, his parent taught him the value of work and community and the sense of caring for one and other. And that is missing from the world 

 

1:12:30 

 

I: right now. That is what he said, that we don´t have that. And when we are talking about nations, what we have is the economic resources in the world but we have few bad apples, you know, politicians and leaders. Few bad apples, that want to keep, you know, everything for themselves and everything is not distributed the way it should be.

 

JH: Hmm

 

I: Because the world 

 

1:13:00 

 

I: has enough for everybody. 

 

JH: Yes.

 

I: If we don´t resolve that. If we don´t back to the way things were before, when he was growing up, with the values that he got from his parents, work, sharing, community, caring for one and other, we are in bad shape. And this is not any good. It is not going to be a good world. 

 

JH: That´s great message. Thank you so much. Sharing your philosophy 

 

1:13:30 

 

JH: and ideas of the old good days and the need that we need to really take an action about the bad apples right now. Sir, I want you to be proud of what you have done and there are very good things that came out of your service, so I want you to release that, release it, release those pains and the memories, 

 

1:14:00 

 

JH: so that you can be in good terms with what you have done. Yeah. You should be really proud of yourself and so many other Korean War veterans from Puerto Rico that they sent so many people and they are good things that came out of it. So, release it, okay? And be proud of yourself and thank you again on behalf of Korean nation and Korean government, 

 

1:14:30 

 

JH: I would like to thank you for your fight and sacrifice and the pain that you still have to suffer. Thank you all, family, beautiful family and I want to thank you all again.

 

I: Thank you. 

 

JH: Yeah, thank you. 

 

[End of Recorded Material]