Manuel Carnero originally tried joining the Navy in 1946 but was denied entry upon discovery of the inaccuracy of his birth certificate. He instead joined the Marines and moved through the ranks, attended the language school in Monterey, California and received various assignments until he was deployed to Korea. He describes the effects of subzero weather and frostbite on and being wounded by a grenade at the Chosin Reservoir. He ends with his impressions of modern South Korea and how its growth paired with the appreciation of the South Korean people makes the sacrifice worth it.
Battle of Chosin Reservoir
Manuel Carnero describes his experience at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes arriving and experiencing temperatures 20-30 degrees below 0. He describes the weapons available and how the machine guns they carried utilized belted ammunition though the soldiers were given linked ammunition. He goes on to describe seeing what he thought looked like a German grenade from WWII and being unable to escape the explosion. When he awoke, his tongue half cut-off and mouth full of blood, he looked up the hill and thought he was dead and headed to Valhalla.
Injuries and Casualties
Manuel Carnero describes how the cold and frostbite affected soldiers. He explains that he had frostbite on his hands and feet while many other men froze to death. He says it was not unusual for men to fall asleep and not wake up; that the weather claimed more lives than the Chinese. He goes on to describe how the Navy Corpsmen serving with the Marines were picking up the casualties at the battle site when they found him and helped him to a truck.
Like Being in New York City
Manuel Carnero describes the difference between Korea during the war and its appearance when he traveled back for the Revisit Program. He describes landing at the Inchon airport which is on an island which he had not seen during the war. He describes the beauty of the mountains and the country, how it reminded him of New York and Houston. He also describes how the Korean children were very appreciative of the American veterans and chanted "America number 1!" He says that the appreciation of the Korean people for the American sacrifice and the growth of South Korea makes it worth while.