Michael Daly enlisted in the Army after graduating from college during the 1970s which was during the Vietnam War. His earliest recollection of the Korean War was on the night of the armistice, he and his father, while saying their bedtime prayers, thanked God that the armistice ended the fighting in Korea. After 8 weeks of basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, he was sent to Military Intelligence Training for 16 weeks at Fort Holabird in Baltimore, Maryland. Then he flew to Kimpo Airport in early February of 1971 and he was stationed in Yongsan as a Collection Unit for the 8th Army in the event of an attack from the North Korea forces. Throughout Michael Daly’s time in Korea, he had the opportunity to learn from the community around him while taking hiking trips and exploring South Korea, as well as teaching English to Korean students. Michael Daly believes that the Korean people have been a dynamic force on the American way of life through their level of ambition and he encourages immigration to expose younger generations to various cultures in their own communities. He feels that the troops that are still in Korea today are necessary to deter potential enemies (economic & political) of South Korea.
Michael Daly's earliest political recollection of the Korean War was when he was 5 years old. He and his dad knelt by the side of the bed to say their prayers and he remembers his dad praying, "We thank God tonight for the armistice in the war in Korea." Since Michael Daly was born right before the Korean War, he was too young to remember the draft and other small nuances of the war.
Importance of US Soldiers in Korea today
The US government, after the armistice was signed in 1953, extended this period to give soldiers benefits and there have been over 2 million soldiers still there in South Korea. Michael Daly explained that Korea has benefited greatly (uses the saying "trip wire" as an advantage) from US presence as a deterrent for North Korea, China, and possibly Japan since the end of WWII. With American soldiers, armor, and training, few countries would even attempt to attack American troops.
What is Korea to United States?
As many Koreans have migrated to the US, Michael Daly feels it has inspired a community of entrepreneurs and are hungry to succeed. He has seen the impact the Korean children have had on his own children with the edge of competitiveness they have. He has learned that the younger generations don't feel the same way as their elders do with US military support in Korea, yet without US there as a safety net, South Korea is vulnerable (nuclear development).
Michael Daly recognized the economic and political impact Korea has had both on themselves and countries around the world. Aside from the technological advancements and automobile, the political landscape has exploded since 1987. The events of that period that further progressed democratization in South Korea too.