Jeff Brodeur (with Al Jenner)
Both born in Massachusetts, Jeff Brodeur (Army 82-89-Served 2nd Infantry Division 88-89) & Al Jenner (79-80-Joint Security Area; left Army in 83) are both Korea Defense Service Veterans (and members of the Korea Defense Service Veterans Association) who lobbied for a federal charter (signed by President Bush [12/2/02]) honoring these service veterans with the Korean War Defense Service Medal for the recognition they deserved. Lou Dechert, former national president of the KWVA, invited the KDVA to merge with their chapter and formed the KWVA/KVA Chapter 299 as the first and only Korean Veterans Association that combines both groups. Since the armistice in 1954, over 40,000 troops remain in Korea each year serving 1 year to 18 months, which is roughly over 3 million. It has been accepted by Congress that since the armistice was signed over 1,200 US soldiers have died in Korea, as well as 2,400 ROK armed servicemen. Both men agree the reason so many Korean Defense Service Veterans have not participated in the Korean War Veterans Association was because they felt since they didn’t actually fight in the Korean War that they haven’t earned the right to become a member. He hopes that this interview and the standards their chapter in Massachusetts has created, will encourage 2nd generations and beyond to keep their legacy alive by joining the KWVA. He also hopes this will allow the Service Veterans to be affiliated with the Revisit Tour program as well as erecting a memorial that recognizes their efforts to detain communism during the height of the Cold War.
Concerns About Recognition KDSVA
Jeff Brodeur wishes that the US Government could replicate the Korean Service Veterans Memorial that is in Seoul here in Washington DC. There isn't any monuments in the US represents the Korean Service Veterans. He believes that veterans won't want to join or become members if they're not being recognized.
We were there during the Cold War
Jeff Brodeur and Al Jenner received word that the North Koreans wanted to participate in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, so they were heavily guarding the 38th parallel. They were doing this to ensure that the Olympics would remain safe. The 38th parallel is the dividing line between North and South Korea that we created during the signing of the armistice on July 29, 1953.
Korean War Veterans Response to KDVA Accomplishments
Al Jenner responds that if the veterans could see the impact that was made by their efforts to deter against communism, they would see a country that is now the 11th largest economy in the world. They would also see that it's the first nation to go from a debtor nation to a creditor nation while enjoying the freedoms they have there. Jeff Brodeur and Al Jenner are very proud of the progress and success in South Korea.