Richard A. Houser
Richard Houser (79) was born in Syracuse, NY. He was working as a welder at Carrier Air Conditioning Company in Syracuse when he was drafted for military service and he served from 1952 to November 1954. During his service period, he went to Inchon and was stationed at Kumwha-Chorwon Valley “Porkchop Hill” from April 1953 to May 1954 with the 7th Infantry Division, 17th Infantry regiment, Company E as a Private. During his time in Korea, he was an infantry rifleman and he received awards including the Combat Infantry Badge, Purple Heart, Good Conduct, National Defense, Korean Service, UN Korean Service, New York State Conspicuous Service Cross, Korean Presidential Unit Citation, and a Korean Ambassador for Peace medal.
The Korean War Draft and Basic Training
Richard Houser was working and got married before he was drafted in 1953. He didn't think that he would get drafted and one month after getting the letter, he was sent to boot camp.
Leaving for Korean War in 1953
Richard Houser took a ship and landed in Inchon in April 1953 after a lonely 20 day ship ride to Korea. While traveling to his base in the Chorwon Valley known as the Iron Triangle, Richard Houser was able to see Seoul leveled, small thatched homes, and dirt roads all around him.
The Korean War Ceasefire
Richard Houser fought until the last second to hold Porkchop Hill in the Chorwon Valley right before the ceasefire. It felt great for him when the war ended because he was able to build new trenches farther off the 38th parallel.
Fighting Alongside with UN Nations
Richard Houser fought along with Turks, Aussies, Ethiopians, Greeks, and Columbians while fighting against communism. The Chinese were afraid of the Turks because they would cut off the ear of their enemy as a trophy.
The Ceasefire, Korean Civilians, and the Death of a Friend
Richard Houser protected the 38th parallel throughout the winter of 1953 from a trench and Camp Casey. After the ceasefire civilians wanted to go back to their land to farm, but it was filled with mines which took the lives of many civilians.
Returning to the US After Serving in the US Army
Richard Houser returned to the US in the spring of 1934 and most of the people from his town didn't even know he was gone. Newspapers didn't publicize the Korean War since it was tired from WWII, so most of the veterans did not get a warm welcome home.
Richard Houser went back to Korea with his wife a few years before the interview was taped. The bright lights, huge buildings, and prosperity of the Korean people made him proud for fighting to free the Korean civilians.