Korean War Legacy Project

Mmadu Onyeuwa


Mmadu Onyeuwa was born in Memphis, Tennessee and moved to Puerto Rico after working with inspirational Puerto Rican soldiers during the Korean War.  After being drafted in 1967, he was trained as a medic for the US Army.  In 1968, he was sent to Korea to serve as a Korean Defense soldier and he worked all over the country transporting injured/sick soldiers.  His love for the Spanish and Korean languages motivated him to learn how to speak both languages fluently.  Though he hopes to go back and visit Korea and meet the Puerto Rican soldiers that he worked with during his deployment, this has been a difficult task to fulfill.

Video Clips

Korea Revisit

Mmadu Onyeuwa explains that he would love to return to Korea to learn more about the culture and language. He goes on to explain that he has not had the opportunity yet, but he has looked into teaching where he served as a Korean War Defense Veteran. Though he is not familiar with the economic strides South Korea has made, he would like to spend upwards of five years in Korea to have a truly fulfilling experience.

Tags: Impressions of Korea,Modern Korea

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Korea making an Impression

Mmadu Onyeuwa was sent to Korea during the winter of 1968. He describes seeing very deep, waist high snow. He explains that though he spent a good deal of time with the Puerto Ricans, his instinct told him to spend more time immersing himself in the Korean culture. He describes learning the Korean language as well as customs and music.

Tags: Cold winters,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Prior knowledge of Korea

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Puerto Rican and US Army Working at DMZ

Mmadu Onyeuwa explains that he worked with hundreds of Puerto Rican soldiers during his deployment to Korea in 1968. He describes the free spiritedness of the Puerto Rican soldiers; a sharp contrast to the people of Memphis during that racist time. The love he felt from them made him want to move to Puerto Rico once he finished his tour.

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