Julien De Backer
Julien De Backer enlisted in the Belgian military during the Korean War, with the hope for a better life after experiencing tragedy during the German occupation. He arrived in Korea in 1953 after a long journey and several stops in other countries. Upon his arrival to the front lines, he immediately received this assignment at the observation post, a very dangerous position. He recalls the living conditions in Korea as well as some of his biggest fears. Julien De Backer has since visited Korea numerous times and remarks on the gratefulness of the Korean people. He is proud of his service and the progress that South Korea has made since the war.
Traveling to Korea
Julien De Backer explains how he arrived in Korea- a journey that took almost fifteen days because they had stops in several countries. After going to Japan, he went to Korea where he was joined with the rest of this troops.
Dangers at the Observation Post
When he arrived, Julien De Backer received his assignment immediately to go to an observation post. He had to warn the allied troops if the enemy was coming. Among his biggest fears during this time was not the Chinese or the North Koreans, but rather the poisonous snakes.
Life on the Front Lines
Julien De Backer describes the living conditions on the front lines. He explains that they would either sleep in bunkers or tents. Showering was a special occasion and done in a line where the troops would receive new clothing. According to Julien De Backer, the food was “rather ok” as long as they were not on alert.