Jimmie A. Montoya
Long time friend Georgia and daughter Linda shared the story of Jimmie A Montoya from New Mexico. Jimmie Montoya left for the Korean War in the summer of 1950 and he was held for over a month as a POW in various camps. Although Jimmie received 3 Purple Hearts for being wounded in action, he was taken care of by other comrades which saved his life. Two books were written that described Jimmie Montoya’s experiences including The Namwon Bunch and Korean Atrocity Forgotten War Crimes 1950-1953. Jimmie Montoya’s friend, Georgia, who is a school librarian and history teacher is aware of the continued lack of support for the Korean War. Her awareness of the tension between Russia and US was very real as a child. Jimmie Montoya passed away on December 25, 2011.
Korean War Rarely Taught
Even as a school teacher, Georgia rarely had time at the end of 2nd semester to teach WWII, but definitely not enough time to teach about the Korean War. She said if teachers were creative and found a way to integrate the Korean and Vietnam Wars into discussion, they were lucky. Textbooks covered little, if any, information on the Korean War. She said the textbooks skipped over the Korea War by going from World War II straight to the Vietnam War.
You'll Remember This Someday
The term "Forgotten War" upset a lot of people. Georgia remembered when she watched her black and white TV as a little girl. When her family who served in the Korean War came back to the US, her parents always said, "Remember what you are watching on TV. This will be history some day."
Fear of Communism and its Affect on the US
Georgia remembered as a child the reports about Communism and her family built a "basement" that was constructed using directions from the Civil Defense. This "basement" included provisions just in case of attack. This indoctrination was a big part of US entry into the Korean War. The Interviewer mentioned the Kennan Telegram written during this time and they explained how it unveiled the Russian's plans and the Korean War made it clear that Russia and US were not partners at that time.
Farmers vs City Boys in a POW Camp
The soldiers who had once been farmers and ranchers back at home knew which vegetation to eat on that ground while many of the city boys lacked any of this knowledge. Georgia and Linda Montoya said that before the war, Jimmie Montoya would ride out to the ranch, shine shoes, work on the farm, or do whatever it takes to help make ends meet. Whatever amount he was paid during the war, he sent home to his mother and the kids.