Korean War Legacy Project

Santos Rodriguez Santiago


Santos Rodriguez Santiago was born in Puerto Rico on April 6, 1931. He graduated from high school and joined the National Guard in 1947. Having no prior knowledge of the county, he went to Korea in 1950 with three others from Puerto Rico. He served in the 5th Regiment H-company where he dealt with heavy weapons on the front-line. He shares what life was like in the Punchbowl area during the war.  He was a Platoon Sergeant, returned to Korea in 1957, and also did 2 tours of duty in Vietnam. Santos Rodriguez Santiago fondly recalls his time in Korea as an education, and an opportunity to learn the customs and traditions of the Korean people.

Video Clips

Life in the Punchbowl

Santos Rodriguez Santiago remembers not knowing much about the area as they traveled to the Punchbowl. A lot of his time was spent observing the enemy among the hills. He remembers some of his officers being hit by snipers as the two sides often exchanged gun fire. He says that after 2-3 months they began to get used to this lifestyle.

Tags: Chinese,Fear,Front lines,Living conditions

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A Great Opportunity to Learn

Like many others, Santos Rodriguez Santiago did not learn anything about Korea before being sent there for the war. He argues that this is a good experience though because the military sends you places, and you learn a lot. He explains that he learned to work with others and the customs of others, but that many young people only learn

Tags: Pride,Prior knowledge of Korea

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The Hardest Thing

Santos Rodriguez Santiago shares that one of the most difficult things was watching people get killed. He wonders why people are unable to live in harmony. He remembers that he was unsure about whether or not he would come home alive.

Tags: Fear,Front lines

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Video Transcript

INTERVIEWER: So, its February 15, 2016. Lajas, Puerto Rico, my name is Jongwoo Han, I’m the president of Korean War Legacy Foundation, and it’s great honor, it’s my great honor and pleasure to meet you, and listen to your story. So, please introduce yourself tell your name and spell it for the audience, please.


SANTOS RODRIGUEZ: Ok my name is Santos Rodriguez…




SR: It is S A N T O S  R O D R I G U I E Z.


I: So, your last name is Rodriguez.


SR: Rodriguez, right. In the army we used to use only two names, first name, last name, the mother’s name we never use it.


I: Mhm. 


SR: So that’s why I’m just saying Santos Rodriguez.


I: So, what is your original last name?


SR: Rodriguez, they just called me sergeant Rodriguez, but my mother’s last name is Santiago, 




SR: S A N T I A G O. Santiago.


I: Santiago, so your full last name should be Rodriguez Santiago?


SR: It’s correct.


I: Ok what is your birthday?


SR: My birthday is April 6, 1931.


I: 31, tell me about your family when you were growing up, when you were born, and growing up in the school.


SR: Well, I was born here in Lajas, barrio Santa Rosa… 




SR: …we were nine on the family, four died before and then we were left five. I’m the oldest one of the five, right now, I have two brothers alive, the others passed away including my mother and my dad. I went to school, my highest grade was high school, I didn’t go to college…




SR: because those days we were poor, not enough money to compensate, only studies and thus when I decide to join the National Guard.


I: National Guard. When did you join the National Guard?


SR: I joined the National Guard in 1947 and that’s when I graduate from high school. From their own well…




SR: During the that time, well, the conflict from Korea, you know, it began and then they called the National Guard to active service for, I believe, it was just for one year. 


I: So, did you know anything about Korea around the time that you graduate high school in 1947?


SR: No, not much because we were in school, and we never talked about the…




SR: Situations, like today you know, today we have our TVs we have news we had propaganda, and those days very seldom you can hear the news, and like I said, we were poor people, we didn’t have a TV on those days, to watch, you know, what was happening on the way.


I: But didn’t you learn anything about Korea from the school? did your history teacher talk about Korea at all?




SR: No, that I can remember.


I: Hmm. So, you knew nothing about Korea.


SR: No sir at all. 


I: Did you know where Korea was at the time in the map?


SR: No.


I: No. This is the whole point, you knew nothing about Korea, I mean, it’s a small country in Asia very weak poor, there are big China and big Japan, and you end up there or fighting for the people you never knew before, what do you think about that?




SR: It was a good experience because you learn a lot, you know, even if you didn’t know that where Korea belong on Vietnam or those places, you know, but once you join the army and they send you to these places, you learn a lot and they teach you a lot, in my case, I think it was a good experience because, I learned to work with people, I learned the… 




SR: …customs of other people, I learned what was happening those sites in those countries, and that’s one thing that many, many, of the young people today ignore, because all they do is just listen to the news, and according to the news, politics, political people all they talk is politics, one day they’d take this, they say this, say that, and most of them those things are true, but the others are…




SR: …fixed issues, as you say, the way that you know is by seeing, by being in the area, by working with these people and you learn a lot or what the situation there are.


I: Excellent point you just made. So where did you go to get basic military training? When was your National Guard was activated?


SR: Ok, we were activated here in Puerto Rico, for approximately one year…




SR: …and we used to go before that, 15 days to take training on the base camp over here, and once we were called to active duty, where we just continue taking training.


I: How much were you paid when you were at National Guard? 


SR: By $98 dollars, or $96 dollars…


I: per…


SR: Month.


I: Per month?


SR: Yes, that’s right. I wish…


I: No, no, you just doing two weeks of training during the…




I: …National Guard, right? and you were paid 90? No that’s too much.


SR: No, when we were training, we were paid a little bit more, about 200 or something.


I: Ohh!


SR: It was not much money.


I: So, when your unit was activated? When?


SR: It was on 1950, they called the whole unit, the 296 and we went to Fort Buchanan, and from there we just keep taking training know to be…




SR: …ready to go to any place they send us, but I was best lucky one, that during that time they sent me to Panama, at that time I had my rank of Corporal, I learned a lot in Panama, and all my friends were here in Puerto Rico, they pass through Panama, stop on Panama to take a few days, and then keep going to Korea, that’s when I start learning more about Korea the situation there…




SR: …and, so I stayed about two years in Panama, then I came back to get discharged, but what they decided was to get enlisted, and what happened when I came to Fort Buchanan, they told us, we were five of us, “if you re-enlist your next stop is going to be Korea”, by that time we knew a little bit about Korea, what was going on Korea during the war.


I: When was that?


SR: It was on 50.


I: 50?


SR: Yeah…




SR: …but last part of 50 or 51.  


I: So, you joined the National Guard 1947 and then you went to Panama until 1950?


SR: Right, because by that time of release me from 47 expired, so I decided to get out the army, not to continue, and then when we went back to Puerto Rico, we decided, we changed our mind and then we re-enlisted. I re-enlisted for six years. 


I: Hmm. What is you know about Korea…




I: …at the time that you were in Panama? what did people say about Korea?


SR: Well, they were talking about what, you know, the problem they had there, the fighting that was going on, the people that were dying because of the cold, the Chinese pushing people back and forth, I mean different kind of things, and we’re little bit scared because we knew that we had to go there but something that…




SR: …we decided that this release even if we have to go over there and see something new. Yes the world, experience, to try to get experience or be noisy, you know, and we were enlisted for six year, all of us, and then but three months later they sent us, by 51, 52, around March 52 to 53, I was stationed in Korea on the Fifth RCT, Fifth Regiment of Combat Team…




SR: …on the area of Punchbowl.


I: Punchbowl?


SR: Punchbowl. 


I: Ok, So, when you about to leave for Korea or were you thinking were you afraid?


SR: Oh yes, I was afraid because I didn’t know exactly what I was going to see, what I was going to be doing there, I had an idea about what the people were talking about, and for the people that went there, that were came back, you know, people that we meet at the National Guard…




SR: …that they died in there, in those situations, but you know, you get scared little bit in a…


I: Many, many Korean War veterans that I have interviewed they said “no, I was not afraid, I was young, I was nuts, you know, 18 years old wasn’t enough to be afraid”, that’s what they told me. 


SR: Well, I don’t say I was not afraid because I was afraid, you know, once, over the first time…




SR: …I was living, after I went to Panama the first time, I went to out to other country, I was going to Korea and I didn’t know what was I encountered there, and by listening to those days, the TV star coming in, the news, while I was in the Army, and the people that were in the army they were telling us, you know, and instructing us what was going on there, they keep us up today…




SR: …of the situation in Korea, you know, the Chinese pushing back, the North Korean pushing, and back and forth, and on the hills, and all that would scare you some because…


I: Yeah.


SR: …you don’t know, you are going there, you are going there…


I: Yeah. That is something…


SR: … but you don’t know if you are coming back truthfully.


I: Absolutely, I think that’s very honest expression of the feeling that this young soldier should have around at the time. What was your specialty?




SR: I was on the heavy weapons company, H company, Fifth RCT when I went to Korea at that time, they took us to the area Punchbowl, and at that time they had the lines, you know, the trenches and we’re just supposed to guard, and that was like a DMZ that you cannot go either there or coming back, but you had a lot of infiltration coming in, a lot of artillery coming in, and I remember this …




SR: …I could never forget the first night that I went over there, I was in a bunker, I was the section sergeant, and I was in charge of the machine guns platoon, I had at least from 12 to 20 machine guns, I had to work every day through the lines, where there were conditioned to fire, and the first night, a patrol went through my bunker out, you know…




SR: …to check and see if there was a noise outside, or patrols or for North Koreans or whatever, and next morning that was Saturday night, and next morning when they walked back through the same place they went out, I cry like a baby and I truthfully did, you know why? because then I got scare more, because I saw those people coming in wounded, blooded, dead people and all that… 




SR: …and that sure scare me a lot, but also at the same time I feel like I was brave because I was there to help them out, when we got there the sergeant took us to the lines, he told us “if you stay here two weeks, and listen to the instruction, and listen what you had to do, you will go home alive”, those things I will never forget.


I: Mhm.


SR: …and that was…




SR: …there were two more Puerto Ricans with me, and one is living in San German, the other one I never remember where he is, but all three we came back…


I: Wow.


SR: …and I can’t forget that thing.


I: So, I will ask you more about those duties that you had during your service in Punchbowl but when did you arrive in Korea and where?


SR: I went through… I believe it was…




SR: …I don’t remember the place, you know, but it was on March 52.


I: March 1952 you arrived in Korea.


SR: …and I stayed there until June 53.


I: June 53, you stayed until June 53 and you arrive in Inchon right?


SR: Yeah.


I: …or Pusan? 


SR: Incheon, I believe.


I: It was in Incheon?


SR: Yes.


I: Incheon the harbor, right?


SR: Right.


I: Yes…




I: …tell me about the scene the first impression of Korea in your eyes?


SR: Okay, first they took us on train, in whatever was available, because all you see during the tour was bridges turn down, rails turn down, the buildings turn down, and you see all those children, small people…




SR: …looking for food on the trash cans, they came and asked you when they stopped you if we can give them something to eat…


I: Something to eat.


SR: That’s right and where… that put me in a way that I feel real bad thinking about that, you know, that teach me a lot that I was going to do something there for the better of those people.


I: Hmm.




SR: …in other words, that what we were doing there, whatever we were doing there, it was doing for a good reason. That helped us, a lot of moral came up, high.


I: How did Korea look to you?


SR: In the first time?


I: Yeah.


SR: Well, the way they looked during the war was looking very bad, very bad, you know, everything destroyed… 




SR: …I must have asking and say: “why are they fighting for? what was the reason this is going on? because right now is no…. I don’t know why the people fight.


I: Exactly. Why did so many Puerto Ricans veterans have to be there in Korea 65 years ago? Right? and sharing so much blood?


SR: That’s right.




I: So, tell me more about what you did in Punchbowl, did you stay throughout the whole period of your service in Punchbowl or did you move around?


SR: No. 


I: …and tell me about the typical day and anything that you remember.


SR: Okay. 


I: …and could you speak up little bit more loud?


SR: Loud? 


I: Yeah.


SR: Okay, we went to a… like I said, a training and we took trucks that took us to the area where the RCT was,  




SR: …at that time, I didn’t know what I was doing, they told us the unit, but we didn’t know where it’s where, I did know nothing about Korea, I did not about Kelly hill, or Punchbowl was, all I know was more way up north, and then we went to this area, it looks like a bowl, you know, and I got a picture in there where I was standing there, and the unit was…




SR: …mostly time on the line and in blocking position. On the line means that we were up on the trenches, watching the enemy, you can see from our position their positions.


I: How close was it?


SR: You know, they were at the mountains and then they were shooting, then there was another mountain that’s where they were and I would say, they were about, in a straight line about 20 miles, you know, but you had to go downhill…




SR: …uphill, all that, it takes a little longer, in… 


I: 100 yards?


SR: No, it was more than.


I: More than that. Ok.


SR: I will say about 2 or 3 miles, you know.


I: Okay.


SR: Sometimes we see them like they see us, you know, walking around, and preparing with weapons or that, and then we used to fire the weapons, our weapons, the machine guns, we fire…




SR: …I don’t know if we kill any many people in there at that time, they did fire at us and snipers, you know, they kill our people, and I remember some of my officers they were there in the ER that they were hit by snipers, we had to be careful, walk three trenches, dug in or you’re scrolling, and that’s the front line, and then we walk back to the blocking position, we was about…




SR: …I said, about two miles back to the rear, take 2-3 months rest there, and then we’ll move back up to the line, at that time they used to count four points, four points up on the line, three points down and in blocking position, and further down two points and that’s the way you rotate it.


I: Right.


SR: Okay, then from there I stay most a the time in that situation, up and down, up and down I had to walk through the lines every day…




SR: …to check the machine guns, that was about three- or four-miles round trip, to check for make sure the weapons were working, were clean, they have the ammunition, they had a food, because we had bunkers where the people would stay, and there’s where they sleep, from there they give time to relieve people, to go and take a shower because you can’t take a shower every day, and that situation was, but we get used to it. Once we stay…




SR: …2-3 months there, we get used to it, and then the routine was we follow it very close.


I: Hmm.


SR: To go down from the hill, it was about a… I say about five miles you know go down to the road, to main road to catch a truck to go to the area where we supposed to take a bath, sometimes we had hot meals, and when we were eating, we had to run, throw the food away because…




SR: …the artillery was falling down, and we start watching the people I used to take food up because they were the ones, they give the signals of the enemy, too far, and that’s the situation, there was very hard.


I: What was the most difficult thing in your memory? while you were there, what are the things that you really hate it? oh my god I cannot stand it anymore, what is it?


SR: Well, to see people get killed in there, you know…




SR: … I just couldn’t see the reason why, not see the reason why because everybody could live together, everybody could live in harmony, you know, put the ambitious to get these to get that, and that is still going, won’t be going for a long time, it’s very hard and I didn’t know if I was coming back home or…




SR: …I was going to stay there, or coming, I should say, alive because coming home, I was coming anyway, maybe because sometimes they kill you, and they leave you where you were, but the Americans they used to pick up the…


I: Hmm. What there any dangerous moment so that you almost lost your life?


SR: Yes, because they used to come, they used to comment in the patrols…




SR: …enemy patrols, just come to the trenches and at night and we never hear them, especially when was snowing there…


I: Hmm.


SR: …and that was, everything was quiet in silence, and they jump on the only trenches, you know, we had to fight our way to repel their attack, we were in danger but that time, the same thing when we were coming down the hill to the rear, what the company CP was, the artillery, you know…




SR: …it was falling because you can expect, it was just like a rain, when you hear the whistling coming down and that’s the only way that you could save your life, they used to tell you “if you see a hole next to you, jump on that hole and stay there because round is no going to hit that hole again”, and those things are very… 


I: So, you told me that you knew, while you are watching them, they were watching you?


SR: Yes.


I: That’s a scary thing, isn’t it?




SR: Yes sir.


I: You never knew where the bullet would come?


SR: No.


I: …and get you, and you told me that when there is snow they can sneak up on you without making any noise?


SR: That’s right.


I: You had to live like that kind of scary moments throughout more than a year there, right?


SR: That’s correct.


I: How did you feel?


SR: Well, every day was a new day, you know, because once you feel next day that he was alive…




SR: …that you know that you were doing all right, you know, but you have to be hundred percent alert, you cannot be sleeping, you cannot be unattended, you have to be watching you step, watching the front and keeping your friends, your companions in there and in a good shape, so that they could be on alert.


I: It’s a very stressful isn’t?


SR: That’s right…




SR: …you have to set that example, if you didn’t set example, you would be in a bad way. 


I: Tell me about the bunker, please describe you told me that you couldn’t take a shower for a month or so, must be very smelly inside of it, how big was it, how did you hit it, tell me the detailed description of the life inside of the bunker.


SR: Ok. the bunker was a dig in on the ground…




SR: …it was about, I would say, an eight by ten bunker and they used to make beds, one in top of the other, so that the people can rest, and only one door aperture, it was covered with sandbags, in that case the sandbags were filled over there, to protect from the artillery, and that was it, and to eat we had to… where the company CP was…




SR: …they had the only rear slop, bring the food, they used to bring it with the people, the South Koreans KATUSAS, they used to have with the people they bring the food there, and just set up the lines, and we had water to drink, we have word to drink, and if it rains where we used to take a chance to wash up enough, but that was no problem, the problem was to take a complete work…




SR: …and they used to give us a time to go, there really was.


I: How was Korean KATUSA working with you, did you like them? How? can you tell me about them?


SR: I had in my platoon because after that I was platoon Sargent, I was already a platoon Sargent, I had a couple of Katusas with me, and for me they were real good people, they listen to me, they cooperate…




SR: …they translate and they were with me at all the time, one was Sargent lead, he was really good, the other one, I can remember, he was a corporal, he used to get a little bit mad because sometimes some say, “I need one of the guys, an interpreter to go on patrol”, and they have only two, so didn’t wanted to have to go, most a time was a corporal who go but they were good people.


I: What was your favorite thing to eat? Remember?


SR: The what?


I: The favorite menu…




I: …favorite food that you could have there?


SR: Corn, beef, hash was the main one there.


I: What?


SR: Corn, beef, hash…


I: Corn and…


SR: …because most people didn’t like it, I used to go to the bunker there, “I got some Corn beef hash, you want it? Yeah, I take it to my bunker and added a thin can and put it there and make some kind of soup, and everybody came in.


I: Hahaha… 




I: …So, you’re the famous cooker.


SR: Yeah, try everything and from there, you asked me, from there when the 65 was disbanded, then they move the Fifth RCT, unit completely to where the 65th was, and thinking it was Kelly Hilton, if I can remember, and from there I rotated back to the state’s.


I: Hmm.


SR: The fifth RCT was a unit that had…




SR: …Its own supports, artillery, supplies and everything.


I: Mhm.


SR: I guess you hear about them.


I: Have you been back to Korea?


SR: I was two times more after that to Korea.


I: Where, tell me? When, and exactly when, where, and what you did and what did you feel?


SR: Okay, the second time I went to Korea I was already a 97 platoon Sargent, so was in charge of the platoon…




SR: …rifle platoon, and the area I went to was the area we used to call or they called “Spoonbuid”


I: Spoon?


SR: “Spoon build” that is near the freedom bridge and liberty bridge, near freedom, between freedom bridge and liberty a bridge.


I: Aha.


SR: You know where the Pan…


I: Panmunjom.


SR: …Building is, right there, at the DMZ, right there, that far we used to go on that area there. Every time, the two times I went there I went to the same Place.




I: When was it? the second time you were in Korea when did you arrive there?


SR: Fifty…I have the dates over there, it was 56 and I believe in 57. 56, 57, and 59, something like that.


I: How about third time that you were there? when did you arrive?


SR: It was a lot of difference, you know, you see that Korea had progressed a lot.


I: Tell me about those, what are the details that you can provide, the changes in the scenes of Korea in 1952…




I: …and then you’re talking about 56, and then third time, what are the changes?


SR: Well, the railroads were… they were more built up, they were more communicated, and I used to… you had more security to go from one place to another because I used to go from where I was to different places with friends, and more security, you know, and you didn’t have no problems…




SR: …in other words, you have to be on watch but not in the way it was in the fifties, you know that you could be killed, it was more safe, and the people were with you really nice, everybody there talk to you, and you feel friendly in order all the areas. 


I: And do you know what’s been done in Korea in terms of economy…




I: …do you know contemporary Korean economy and politics and democracy, do you know? did you hear anything about it?


SR: I heard that they are much better, but I listen to this news now that North Korea is trying to build more and more and that put me in scare, that something could happen. I don’t know, I disagree what the situation is because there…




SR: …there are some good people in there, and they were some good people in there, and the people when I whet there, they were really friendly, I stayed outside on the villages, with them eat, talk, and just feel like home. 


I: So, in your mind what is the importance of the Korean war in history?




I: …and what is the legacy of Korean war veterans?


SR: Well, I don’t know because most of the people that have been in Korea, they talk and most of us, we don’t like to remember scenes, you know, that remember scenes because we feel very bad about what happened, we lost good people in there, at the worst war do we know…




SR: …for example, my wife sometime asked me about something, I don’t want to tell her because I know what the situation was, I know what it is, and people does not like to talk, especially 65…


I: Hmm


SR: Like I said, myself, I like the Army because I stay for 20 years retire from the Army…




SR: …as Master Sargent A, and the Korea war gave me experience because I went to Vietnam too, I stayed there two tours during the war in Vietnam, the second one I quit because I didn’t like it, and I had some good squad leaders that they were in Korea too with me, you know…


I: Mhm.


SR: …and I stayed there six months with my platoon…




SR: …un and down the hills, up and down the valleys, and we never had a casualty, but after six months in there, they had a new lieutenant there, that he won’t listen to our squad leaders, our experiences and there we started having casualties.


I: You know the Koreans was saved by the US soldiers and other UN forces.


SR: Yeah.


I: 1952-53 Korean soldiers were there in Vietnam to fight with you together. 


SR: That’s right.




I: What do you think about that?


SR: Well, they were in the same situation I was because they like the army, they knew what they were trying to help another the people, you know, that was they still trying to help other people, and the situation and Vietnam, Korea, I would say they were a little bit similar, similar because it’s about the same thing, the only problem is that in Korea, when I went there…




SR: …it was a line that you knew, where the enemy was, you knew behind there their zone, they were zones, but you don’t have to be very scared, but in Vietnam you didn’t have that, in Vietnam you have… it was a different war, in Vietnam you go through there, you only see but women and later on everybody fire.


I: Hmm Yeah.


SR: So, it was a little bit better.


I: Was it like a guerrilla warfare?


SR: That’s right.


I: Yeah. You cannot see them.


SR: No.




I: Why, the Korean War why is been regarded as forgotten? Why? In your mind, what do you think? why people forget about it?


SR: I don’t know.


I: You know, the politicians come to the veterans day, they mention about World W I, World War II, and then they skip into the Vietnam war and Iraq, they don’t even mention it.


SR: They don’t mention Korea, I don’t know why… 




SR: …I don’t know why because I was… some of them just says that it is a Korean conflict, but there was a war there, because I was everything in there, but you know how the politicians are, you know how they are, that most of them they believe and their own things, they think whatever the thing is right, others they just never been in the Army, they never been in there, they don’t know what the situations are.


I: Did you receive any…




I: …discrimination from your boss while you are in Korea because you are the Puerto Rican?


SR: No, no that I can recall.


I: Okay. Do you want to go back to Korea?


SR: Yeah, I would like to go and see. See how it’s changed and all that. Why not? I went twice again after that, I got some pictures in there, where I was feeling like home then because, I knew, I was there one time when they need me.




I: You knew Korea 65 years ago, right? You saw it, right?


SR: Yeah.


I: And you have another picture in your mind of the middle of 1950s, and end of 1950s….


SR: That’s correct.


I: …Korea was a miserable country, right?


SR: That’s right.


I: Now, it’s 11th largest economy in the world. The first economic power is the US or China, and US, China, third is Japan…




I: …fourth is Germany, and then you count several western countries, now Korea is 11th. Can you believe that?


SR: That’s good. I believe, I believe everything has change there, so, that’s why I would like that to go and see what are the changes are.


I: Yeah.


SR: I know, if I went twice there after the war, even the war is there, even the war is there, because it has not changing yet, but it’s not like it was on the 50’s, you know…




SR: … but I think that most of us would like to go to Korea and see what it looks like, see what the changes are, I’m feeling good that we were there when they needed.


I: Yeah, you will feel good about your service, even though it was very stressful, and you still don’t have an answer, why we have to fight like this, not just in Korea in everywhere else.


SR: Everywhere, that’s right.


I: You know, the US is involved in war at any point…




I: … at any time, somewhere in the earth.


SR: That’s right.


I: You know, we used to fight with the ISIS, you still have all you know problems in Afghanistan, you still have a problem in Iraq, North Korea is, you know, constantly because the US is the hegemony, it is a superpower, right?


SR: That’s all correct.


I: So that’s why the veterans are very important in American society…




I: …and we need to let veterans know that their sacrifice has never been wasted.


SR: I agree with you on that, and some time when I listened to the news, you know, that they don’t mention us, that we have problems especially on the hospitals, in all that, they don’t believe that the veterans deserve and need those scenes to keep it going, because it’s a lot of us…




SR: …that we need those services, and it’s not that they are given them to us because of we earned, doing one thing or the other, we earned, like I said, politicians they never been in the Army, they never been in there, so they are the one that are taking that from us, and young people that is growing up today, that they don’t know what the veterans of all people went through, they think everything is…




SR: …just glory all for them, and they should, like you said, keep informed the schools, keeping making sure that they understand, and they learn about the history real war, because today’s they had forgotten their histories of different places. Before we didn’t have the advantages to learn…




SR: …about different places because we didn’t have the equipment to do it, but today we have a lot of women that can serve for information I think it should be in the schools.


I: You know, those young students who will listen to your interview will learn about the point that you are making now, beautiful, beautiful comments, I really appreciate it… 




I: …any other message or comments you want to leave to this interview?


SR: No, I like to thank you, you, the ladies, for giving me this opportunity to be with you, and like I said before, I try to do my best because at 85 years that I will be in the next few months is hard to remember things, and even I’m talking to you here…




SR: …I’m a little bit scared, you know, because remember things is not so good, and I believe you will have one guy this afternoon that was in there too, you had to be careful with him because he is very, I should say, scared about it, but in a way, I believe that the people that listen to this…




SR: …they will understand, and they will react in so many things, maybe they won’t agree, I agree, well that’s their own opinion, I respect everybody thoughts, I respect everybody thinking, and everybody act in the different way, so once again, thank you on you all for this, is a privilege to meet somebody from South Korea here today, thank you.




I: En nombre de Corea gracias por todo (On behalf of Korea thanks for everything).  That’s why I’m here, and I would want to mention that the lady sitting behind us, she will do most of other interviews today in Lajas, Puerto Rico, her name is Gisela Rodriguez, and her father was Korean War veteran and he still suffer from the PTSD, the worst scene that…




I: …we didn’t have to witness…


SR: Okay.


I: …and there are many Korean War veterans still suffering from those nightmare, and I really hope that, I pray that god help them, and do you have a PTSD?


SR: What?


I: Do you have a PTSD?


SR: No.


I: Nightmares? Thank God, you don’t have it. And one more person, Noemi Figueroa, she is the one who organized this whole series of interviews here in in Puerto Rico…




I: …She is just perfect, strong, advocate for the veterans especially from Puerto Rico, so I want to thank them all, but again I want to thank you, and all other Puertorrican Korean War veterans for their fight, for their lives, and their sacrifice and honorable service, because of their service, the Korea now is 11th largest economy in the world…




I: …We are the strongest ally to the United States, and we are the strongest democracy in East Asia, we were not able to do pull that out at the same time, in a very short period without your fight for us. Thank you very much.


SR: Thank you very much and we appreciate the words in and…




SR: …we hope, I say we because we are representing veterans, that this situation and Korea, North Korea, you know, takes it easy down, and everybody lives on peace in there, the other side, either side, because there are young people in there, they’re people that growing up, and well, they think a little bit different, but they should look around and see the differences in the other places…




SR: …how we live, how we move, how we have coming to it, and without no problems, you know. So, thank you very much and always ready for anything.


I: Okay, your point about the difference is the real key to the resolution of many conflicts that we witness today. We don’t recognize the difference we think that they have to act like me, and act think like me…




I: …you know, and live like me, that’s not true everybody has their own differences, we need to respect the difference.


SR: That’s correct.


I: Right?


SR: That’s correct,


I: Absolutely, I really appreciate, I enjoyed this interview and I hope for your health.


SR: Okay thank you very much and you’re welcome here in Puerto Rico. Okay?


I: Thank you


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