Thomas Nuzzo was born in 1930 in New York City. He was attending college when he was drafted in 1953. During his service period, he was stationed at Kwan Di-Ri on Soyang Gang from August 1953 to November 1954. Thomas Nuzzo served in the United States Army X Corps at their headquarters in Korea. He worked on infantry and troop information and education while helping train the Republic of Korea’s (ROK) forces prior to the turn over of command. After returning to the United States, he returned to college and used the GI Bill to finish his degree at Fordham University. Thomas Nuzzo will always remember the relationships that he built with his fellow soldiers and the Korean people.
The Forgotten War
Thomas Nuzzo felt that the Korean War was the forgotten war. Since it was so close to the end of WWII, the civilians in the United States didn't want to fight. Soldiers didn't even have supplies that they needed, so this hurt the moral.
Prior Knowledge About Korea
Thomas Nuzzo was attending Fordham University when he was drafted for the Korean War. Unlike most draftees, Thomas Nuzzo knew about Korea from stamp collecting and his schooling. Being sent to Korea was not scary he said because he found the Korean culture so interesting.
Fighting With and Training the ROK
Thomas Nuzzo went to bootcamp and specialized as an infantryman. Once he was sent to Korea, he was stationed with the 1st Republic of Korea (ROK) to train the South Korean troops. By the end of his time in Korea in 1954, Thomas Nuzzo was able to participate in a changing of the guard for the 10th Headquarters which made him very proud.
Nuzzo, Chang Bin Han
Nuzzo with tent boy Chang Bin Han. Tent boys took care of the tent and equipment of GI's. This was taken at tent corps on the Soyang Gang (or River) near Yangu.
A picture of In Ja Park in her best hanbok on the last day Nuzzo was in Sambatt Village. Taken on 1954 in Wondo.
Tent Corp Headquarters, Nuzzo
Nuzzo posing for the camera. Taken at Tent Corps Headquarters in Kwan Di Ri on the Soyang River in 1953
River, mountain, bridges
Camp, tree, mountain
A picture of the camp at Kwan Di Ri, with the camps in the back of the picture. This was taken in 1953.
Inside a typical tent at a camp at Kwan Di Ri in 1953.
A boy with a typical carrying device called an A-Frame for its shape. Taken at Kwan Di Ri in 1953.
A 1954 covered marketplace in Chuncheon.
The same covered marketplace in Chuncheon 4 1/2 decades later in 2000.
Nuzzo with children from Chuncheon in 1954.
A child pushing a younger child in a wagon in Chuncheon. Taken in 1954.
A picture of the 32nd Engineer Group Headquarters army camp. Taken in 1954.
A picture of an Army tent in Sambatt Village in the 32nd Engineer Group HQ. Taken in 1954.
Nuzzo on guard duty in front of the camp in Sambatt Village. Taken at the 32nd Engineer Group HQ near Chuncheon at 1954.
A view of Sambatt Village near Chuncheon from a distance. Taken in 1954.
A Sambatt Village home in 1954.
A Sambatt Village home 4 1/2 decades later in 2000.
Sambatt Village traditional Korean house located near Chuncheon. Taken in 1954.
Nuzzo sitting next to "Korea Waldorf Astoria" camp tent in the 32nd Engineer Group HQ in Chuncheon. Taken in 1954.
Villagers cooking rice in a rice pot in Sambatt Village (near Chuncheon) in 1954.
Nuzzo with the villagers collecting water from the Sambatt Village well near Chuncheon in 1954.
An older sister carrying her younger brother in Sambatt Village in 1954.
The Sambatt Village children loved to take pictures with American GI's. Here, the children pose for a picture with Nuzzo. Taken in 1954 at Sambatt Village.
Nuzzo holding a Korean child in Sambatt Village, 1954.
Nuzzo eating/enjoying a good bowl of Korean noodles in Sambatt Village (near Chuncheon) in 1954.
A picture of a woman getting water from the village well in 1954.
A loyal wife carrying her child while waiting for her husband to come back home in front of her home in Sambatt Village. Taken in 1954.
00:00 [Beginning of recorded material]
Thomas Nuzzo: My name is Thomas Nuzzo. That’s an Italian name. In Italian it’s pronounced “Noot-zo”. In English, “Nuz-zo”. In Korean, “Noo-jo” and I was born in New York City, Manhattan, 1930. My parents came from Sicily, the island of Sicily.
Thomas Nuzzo: They met here in America, married, and I was the first child, and I attended school in New York. When the Korean War started I was in college.
Interviewer: What College?
Thomas Nuzzo: Fordham University, School of Education, and I was drafted as most of the American soldiers in Korea were Draftees, you know, not Regular Army.
Thomas Nuzzo: They had very small regular army at that time we were drafted and–
Interviewer: When were you drafted?
Thomas Nuzzo: I was drafted in 1953 during the last year of the War so I spent the end of the War there and then I came home in ’54. They only kept us there about a year; most men because they rotated us very much during the three years I understand that about a million and a quarter Americans served in Korea.
Thomas Nuzzo: Because of the constant rotation.
Interviewer: What did you study at the Fordham University?
Thomas Nuzzo: Education.
Thomas Nuzzo: Teaching and also philosophy, I majored in philosophy. When I came out of the army with the GI Bill I returned to school and I have a master’s in history/philosophy of education.
Thomas Nuzzo: I studied PhD for philosophy and that’s the educational background.
Interviewer: So when the Korean War broke out on June 25thof 1950 you were in Fordham University.
Thomas Nuzzo: Right, I was in school.
Interviewer: Fordham University?
Thomas Nuzzo: Yes.
Interviewer: So, because you were in college you are highly educated and so were you aware of Korea? What was the people’s response and what do you think about it?
Thomas Nuzzo: You know, all my life I was interested in history and I started collecting stamps in the eighth grade, so I already knew there was such a place as Korea spelled with a “C”.
Thomas Nuzzo: And it was in the album, it was “Choson”
Thomas Nuzzo: And Korea” “C-O-R-E-A” and so I already knew something, I knew there was such a place, and so forth and so on. And then I was always interested in art. I did some art myself, so I knew about Asian art. So I wasn’t really going to a completely strange place; 99 percent of the Americans didn’t even know there was a country named Korea. Most of us didn’t even know, let alone where it was or anything about it.
Thomas Nuzzo: But, having said that, it was still quite an experience to go from the streets of Manhattan to the mountains of North Korea in little villages and then see how the people live how different. You know the bottom line is we’re all human and we’re all basically the same but on the outside we can be very different.
Interviewer: so when the Korean War broke out, were you worried that you might be drafted, and what was your reaction?
Thomas Nuzzo: When you are young you think you’re immortal. No young person fears anything. That’s why war is really something for young people. I cannot imagine the soldier professional soldier of today who might be 30 or 35 years old and has a wife and children and has to go to the front.
Thomas Nuzzo: How can he concentrate? I was old, I was one of the older soldiers in Korea. Most of them were 18, 19-years-old. I was already 22 by the time I got out there, so it’s a different world, completely different world and I’ll tell you when I used to write home, I’ll tell you a couple of the things that impressed me enough to write to my mother.
Thomas Nuzzo: “Here you have to take your shoes off when you go inside. . .” (Laughs) That was a bit different, take your shoes off! Oh! And, “They carry the babies on their back.” Those are two big things that impressed me.
Interviewer: Very interesting. So what kind of basic training did you go through?
Thomas Nuzzo: Well, I was infantry rifleman.
Thomas Nuzzo: I went through the regular basic then. Regular basic was eight weeks, which everyone went through, and then at the end of eight weeks you were specialized: armor, artillery, whatever and I continued in infantry and also after the next eight I continued in leadership school, infantry. So when I went to Korea, I went as a rifleman.
Interviewer: So when did you leave for Korea?
Thomas Nuzzo: Okay we left in. . .March and we went from Seattle by ship to Sasebo, Japan, and then from Sasebo to Busan, and by train from Busan to Chunchon. Then in Chunchon we got on trucks and went all the way up because my first assignment was on the Soyang Gang River, at a village called Kwan Di-Ri, which was the headquarters for the Tenth Corps and the First ROK Army.
Thomas Nuzzo: You know, the number one–
Thomas Nuzzo: R-O-K.
Thomas Nuzzo: In fact, when the fighting stopped we started to do training of the First ROK Army, so I spent part of ’53 training the First ROK Army. I didn’t actually reach the combat Line.
Thomas Nuzzo: Along the way, as we were going up they took some of us out, it was a little dramatic. It was the middle of the night, we’re in this truck, we’re going up north and the truck stops and the officer there, “You! You! Get out.” They put us in a dark tent, an empty tent, he said “Go to sleep I’ll pick up tomorrow morning” and when I got up I was in the headquarters’ company so I–I actually didn’t go to the exact line.
Thomas Nuzzo: So I spent that time in the headquarters. Now, when the Armistice started that’s when we started training First ROK Army and then when we finished that, we had a big ceremony. Which they called the turning over of the command and Tenth Corps turned over command of that whole area and signed over to the First ROK Army.
Interviewer: What was it like working in the headquarters?
Thomas Nuzzo: Well it was almost like an office job. It was: you got up in the morning you did your duty if you had to do guard duty or whatever you worked in the office. I worked also in the office and came five, six o’clock or something and then you were off.
Interviewer: So maybe because you are highly educated so you were selected as a office soldier, right?
Thomas Nuzzo: Maybe. . . In the army it doesn’t work that way.
Interviewer: It doesn’t work that way?
Thomas Nuzzo: No. No, because I was trained to be infantry leader, so why would you pull me out and put me in the tent?
Thomas Nuzzo: They just–in the army they just grabbed you and you might be a cook but they need a rifleman, they grab you, “Go over there, you’re a rifleman.”
Interviewer: Do you remember was in charge of the headquarter?
Thomas Nuzzo: Yeah, the American general was Clark and the Korean general was Paik Sun-yup.
Interviewer: Paik Sun-yup.
Thomas Nuzzo: Okay, the ceremony, I have the program in my collection and it has both their names. Half of it is in Korean, half of it is in English, you know the program telling the chain of command, change, and it’s interesting. You know what’s interesting? The Korean side is written in Hangul but it’s also written with the Chinese character. I have met general Paik Sun-yup.
Thomas Nuzzo: Yeah two times since that time.
Interviewer: Since then. But I want to ask you more about this cooperation between U.S. and Korean military there.
Thomas Nuzzo: It was very good, very strong. I worked with the Korean, we worked. . .well actually, we were working more on the command level telling them our experience and how we would do something.
Thomas Nuzzo: Because at that time there was really, when the war broke out there was almost no Korean army, really. It was just a few men were a couple of rifles because, from my understanding, later reading, America was afraid that Syngman Rhee, if he had a real army, would go into North Korea and try to unite so they were afraid and they kept them really unarmed.
Interviewer: How was the communication?
Thomas Nuzzo: There was always–you know for instance, if I was meeting with, let’s say, an army colonel, Korean Army ROK we call them ROK–
Thomas Nuzzo: R-O-K
Thomas Nuzzo: Republic of Korea–
Thomas Nuzzo: ROK. There would be at least one interpreter, who may be a lieutenant or something and he would be our communication.
Interviewer: Was the translator really okay?
Thomas Nuzzo: Yeah, English good.
Interviewer: Yeah so you didn’t have any problem in communication?
Thomas Nuzzo: There were many Koreans that knew English very well.
Thomas Nuzzo: In fact, you saw the picture of the friend that I made, Han? He could speak and write English and when I left he gave me a goodbye letter, beautiful English, beautifully written, so there were many, many that could speak English.
Interviewer: Could you speak about that General Paik? Any memory–
Thomas Nuzzo: I never had direct contact with the General but I did meet him later, and I met him in Seoul at a reunion, and I met him in Washington at one of these, he came, and all I had to say to him was, “Kwan Di-Ri” the name of the town and he beamed because everybody know Kwan Di-Ri was where the headquarters at First ROK Army, Tenth Corps, and then talked, “Remember Kwan Di-Ri?” “Yes, I do.”
Thomas Nuzzo: Now, he what he did on his own many years after the war he put up a monument there.
Interviewer: Yes, yes, yes.
Thomas Nuzzo: There’s several stone monuments depicting a map of the area and the units, yeah.
Interviewer: So the American. . .soldiers and General Clark you said, right–
Thomas Nuzzo: Yeah, his name was Clark–
Interviewer: They were really working together well as–the cooperation was smooth with the Korean–
Thomas Nuzzo: As far as I know. You know, maybe somebody else has a different–but we worked very well together.
Interviewer: How many were in headquarters?
Thomas Nuzzo: Oh there were a lot of people because you have every department of an army had to have somebody there, and every department was teaching the ROK Army to create that department in the ROK. So you had G1, G2, three, four, all the way down you know, education, this, that everybody was there everybody.
Thomas Nuzzo: It was big, it was big.
Interviewer: Mm-hmm. And what was the main thing that you are educating Korean. . . Army.
Thomas Nuzzo: I did a lot of troop information and education; I guess maybe because of my background they steered me that way.
Interviewer: What do you mean by troop information?
Thomas Nuzzo: Well there’s a department where you educate the troops about whatever it is you’re going to educate–maybe about where you are, because usually they try to give you some kind of orientation on where you are and how to act.
Thomas Nuzzo: You know, don’t do this with Korean don’t do that, you gotta do this but you don’t do that and to keep relations good and then actual education of–like we used to try to help the GIs, if they didn’t graduate high school, give them Thomas Nuzzo:courses. We had teachers actually come up there to teach at the at the at the actual physical headquarters.
Thomas Nuzzo: I think it was more the organizational, and then when you got out of the headquarters and you were more in the field there was more of the field education. The actual getting somebody, putting him in a tank, and teaching him. That we didn’t do exactly at the headquarters. Actually I did not directly work with KATUSA.
Thomas Nuzzo: None of the people I met, I think KATUSA were more in the field.
Thomas Nuzzo: I think they were more into the actual field. If you went up to the artillery position or something you would find the KATUSA, because in fact they were actually in American units. They were not really a separate–they were like they would be in the infantry unit he would be a KATUSA but he was with the American to learn firsthand.
Interviewer: So then you must have worked with the Korean army directly, right?
Thomas Nuzzo: I only worked with army officers.
Interviewer: Would you tell you about your relationship with them or any person that you will still remember or in contact?
Thomas Nuzzo: I’m really sorry that I didn’t take the lieutenant’s name because how many years later? I left Korea in ’54. My first revisit what is it was in 1989, so I think now if I had his name when I visited in ’89 I could have called, tried to find him, I could’ve ask he army you know, where is he now?
Thomas Nuzzo: It would have been nice to meet him again, you know because we became friendly. For instance, I would go to the PX and buy some cologne, men’s cologne or something and I would give it to him.
Interviewer: I saw a Korean newspaper clipping that you are looking for man’s last name H-A-N Han.
Thomas Nuzzo: Right, Han Chang Bin and Park In Ja.
Interviewer: Could you talk about that?
Thomas Nuzzo: I readily talk, I said this a thousand times to Koreans and I could say it another thousand because I think the story is beautiful. I became friends with Han he’s the young man that could read and write and he was like what they call tent boy, a houseboy, you know?
Interviewer: How old was he?
Thomas Nuzzo: The exact age I don’t know but when the war finished and we had to leave Tenth Corps, he returned to his home in Wonju–
Thomas Nuzzo: And went to high school. In the picture I have of him, he’s in his high school uniform, you know, a Japanese-style the uniform they used to have for boys.
Thomas Nuzzo: Now, we became very close and if I was able to get a Jeep or something I would take him to Chunchon, because that was like going to the big city, even though Chunchon at that time was nothing. It was all dirt and a few wooden buildings but it was better than up in the mountains. We would go there and what we did was I would bring saltine crackers, a can of tuna fish, a couple of cans of beer and we would go to Chunchon and we go up on the hill and we would make it like a little picnic and that’s when the kids would come.
Thomas Nuzzo: If you remember the picture of me with the kids in front of me? That on one of those occasions the kids would come and we give them crackers or chocolate or whatever because right away.
Thomas Nuzzo: They would say, “Chocolate, GI? Chocolate, GI? Chewing gum? Chewing gum?” So the interesting thing about what happened with Han. . .
Thomas Nuzzo: Okay, so now and In Ja. . .when I left I never saw them again, I lost complete contact. At that time, I didn’t even know where I was actually. I mean I knew Kwan Di-Ri because it was the headquarters that they said, but then when I was transferred to Chunchon area, Gangwon-do area, I was in a little village and I really didn’t even know where it was.
Thomas Nuzzo: And so as I said when I visited Korea in ’89 and ’90 or ’91 again, and I had made Korean friends and they put that story in the paper and somebody called the paper and said, “I’m a friend of Han.” And that was in America because that came out in the Korean Times in New York and said,
Thomas Nuzzo: “Han died relatively young, but he was already married and had two children” and he gave the newspaper the telephone number of the wife. He said, “She’s living in Busan.” So in turn they gave it to my Korean friends and when I visited Korea one of my Korean friends, who happened to be a general in the Korean army, 20 years younger than me, took me to Busan and I met his wife–
Thomas Nuzzo: And son, and I have pictures of them in those pictures and I met them. They gave me pictures, she gave me pictures of wedding picture, and pictures of the children when they were younger and but the important thing that happened which, you know, you never know what’s going to happen and if a good or bad is going to come from something. We tried, I tried to keep contact with the son because he spoke some English.
Thomas Nuzzo: By that time, they were stuck. And one day. . .I don’t remember, I think he called me and he said, “They want to draft me in time I had to go in the army,” he says, “but what’s gonna happen to my mother?” She wasn’t well, she was almost like an invalid he said, “Who’s going to take care of her?”
Thomas Nuzzo: So I said, “Okay, let me talk to General Park. So I called General Park, and Park had visited with me the there. So he was there, he met the son, he saw they lived in a very poor area, very poor area, and he said, “This boy is very good he’s really taking care of his mother, sacrificing” and so General Park said, “Let me look into it.”
Thomas Nuzzo: I get a call from General Park, he says, “You know, I explained the situation to the draft board and they’re not going to take him. They’re going to let them stay home, take care of his mother, so.
Interviewer: Wow you did–
Thomas Nuzzo: Well I didn’t–just the fact that I met the father, and that we became friends, and that my Korean friends decided to put the story in the paper, so you never know, one thing builds on another and another.
Thomas Nuzzo: Now you want to hear a little bit about In Ja?
Interviewer: In Ja?
Thomas Nuzzo: You know, Park In Ja, the little girl.
Thomas Nuzzo: The young lady
Interviewer: Yeah, briefly.
Thomas Nuzzo: There’s a little story about her which is a little cute. Okay, so they’re looking for her, too. So when I visit Korea, General Park and my other friend who was a me–
Interviewer: Who was In Ja?
Thomas Nuzzo: In Ja was the young lady that I have pictures of–
Interviewer: Yeah right, but how did you–
Thomas Nuzzo: She’s in the article.
Interviewer: But how did you come to know. . .
Thomas Nuzzo: Okay I used to walk around the village taking pictures of the people, the children, the farm, and that’s how I met her.
Thomas Nuzzo: I saw her one day another day, “Hello. Hello.” She spoke a few words of English, but at that time I knew more Korean. I wanted to communicate, so I went out of my way, I tried to study. So I knew basic Korean and we met and we were together. And so now after we separated–
Thomas Nuzzo: I’m saying 1990 when I revisited General Park and my other friend, who was a medical doctor at the Samsung hospital, also 20 years younger. They would take me to the village you know ’cause they thought they wanted to find this girl, wouldn’t it be niceafter all these years.
Thomas Nuzzo: So we go into a little eating–there was this house but it was also an eating place. So we’re sitting at the table, we’re eating and their showing the pictures, “Do you recognize anybody? Do you recognize…” and they’re only speaking in Korean. And all the time that we sitting there, it was a rectangular table the lady was at the end of the table. I’m at one side my friend is on the other and they’re looking and talking, she never looks at me, the lady, she never talks to me.
Thomas Nuzzo: Only today then, when it was time to go we had finished eating, I said to the General, “You know, we were eating with her, we’re talking and everything. Gee, it’d be nice to know I’m just curious what’s her name? Now, what’s her name?” So the young lady’s name was Park In Ja, okay? So my friend turns to me and says, “She says that her name is Park In-soo.”
Thomas Nuzzo: Now I knew the custom Park In Ja, Park In-soo, whatever. So I looked at her like this she read my face. she knew I was trying to make a connection between the name, and she went like this, “No no no no. No no no no.” In other words, she didn’t say don’t make a connection but, “No no no no.” You know don’t make a connection. All right, now we’re really ready to go. We’re ready to get up to go, she turns and she looks at me and she says in English “Why you come now?”. . .
Thomas Nuzzo: So I don’t know what to say. So we get up and go. When we get up Park tells me, “This lady must know something why is she saying, ‘Why you come now?’ Too late.”
Interviewer: So what does that mean?
Thomas Nuzzo: I don’t know. What does that mean?
Interviewer: So that’s the story that you also story of In Ja?
Thomas Nuzzo: I’m finished.
Interviewer: So when did you leave Korea for United States?
Thomas Nuzzo: In the late ’54 I believe.
Interviewer: Mm-hmm. I think you work in the headquarters and you know the whole sort of overall situation around the armistice and so on. What is your opinion about the Korean War? Why was it so forgotten to the people’s minds in the United States?
Thomas Nuzzo: It was too near World War Two, number one. It was too close to the end of World War Two. In 1945 everybody wanted to get war out of their mind. They didn’t wanna know. The government reduced the army to nothing–
Thomas Nuzzo: The military, they demobilized. That’s why they weren’t prepared in Korea. I mean the poor guy, feel so sorry for the guys that were there in the beginning. I mean they were wearing clothes that weren’t appropriate for Korea.
Thomas Nuzzo: The bullets were from ten years ago. Some of them didn’t even fire. The weather, I mean it was a madhouse. When winter came they had no winter clothes. They were completely unprepared, completely unprepared. . .and people just–and then it was the first time that the United States entered a war without declaring war.
Thomas Nuzzo: There was no official congressional declaration of war. So it wasn’t a war, and the newspaper, nobody said “war”. But we sent soldiers to Korea and many times the Korean veterans came home and people said to them, “Hey, I haven’t seen you for a long time, where you been?”
Thomas Nuzzo: I mean it was that remote and everything.
Interviewer: So what do you want to say to them?
Thomas Nuzzo: I don’t blame anybody it was just the history of the times, and the fact that they did not declare war that put it out of their mind. So the media, everybody, relatively low coverage. And Vietnam? No declaration of war. Iraq? No declaration of war.
Thomas Nuzzo: Afghanistan? No declaration of war. Technically, we’ve been fighting for 50 years and no declaration of war.
Interviewer: And that war lasted sixty years after an official ceasefire. Next year will be the 60thanniversary of the Korean–
Thomas Nuzzo: 60thand technically they’re still at war, because an armistice just means you’re not going to shoot at each other.
Thomas Nuzzo: Now, I think this shows, to me, a profound difference in the Asian mind and the European mind. Now, when the Europeans, meaning the U.N., the United States, sat down at that table at P’anmunjŏm: in their mind was World War One, World War Two. What happens in those wars when they signed an armistice? Within months, peace treaties were signed.
Thomas Nuzzo: They, but, when they sat down they thought that in a couple months the peace treaty will be signed, but I’m willing to bet my life that when the North Koreans sat down there they had no intention of signing anything until it was completely favorable to them. And they were already willing to be there for sixty years they’ll be there for another forty years. I was on there for two generations and three.
Interviewer: But also, it was for the case of South Korea, they didn’t want to sign the armistice. That’s why there was no South Korean representation at the ceremony. So if–
Thomas Nuzzo: But even without South Korea, nothing was going to be signed, because the North Koreans really, they don’t want–they’re going to wait until it’s advantageous to them before they’re going to sign anything.
Interviewer: That’s why I think there has been a severe trench were to gain even an inch, right?
Thomas Nuzzo: And yeah, and the fighting at the last day of the war was just as intense as the first.
Interviewer: Exactly. So it lasted sixty years and we are technically at war right now.
Thomas Nuzzo: We are technically, but nobody says that, nobody.
Interviewer: Korean War veterans are the most legitimate parties that can say, enough is enough and let’s end this war with the peace treaty.
Thomas Nuzzo: But you can’t North Korea doesn’t want it.
Interviewer: Exactly. There are many things unresolved from North Korean side, but symbolically, symbolically would you be willing to say that enough is enough, say. . .
Thomas Nuzzo: As I said it’s unfinished. In one sense it is unfinished because there’s no peace treaty, but in one sense–I am going to speak for myself. I don’t want to speak for every Korean veteran, but I’m very, very satisfied and very happy when I see the Korea of 1950 and the Korea of 1960. When I revisited in the year 2000 and I see the Korea of today how could you say that we were unsuccessful?
Interviewer: You are–no definitely, definitely.
Thomas Nuzzo: I mean, you want to pick and say well there’s no treaty there’s no this. Hey, North Korea wanted to take over South Korea and they didn’t, and South Korea has prospered and North Korea, they’re where they are.
Interviewer: No question no question there is no Korea, what it is now, without the sacrifice and the involvement of American military there, absolutely, but it’s been sixty years. There is no war lasted sixty years since and–
Thomas Nuzzo: As I say it may last another forty maybe even longer.
Interviewer: But we don’t want to go divided like that because of the Cold War already ended in 1991.
Thomas Nuzzo: I’ve studied history all my life. I was even a history teacher, and from what I see of what happened in other situations, I cannot see North and South Korea ever united.
Thomas Nuzzo: Ever united. The only way they could ever be united is if China ever becomes a true democracy because China doesn’t want a democracy on their border. And they’re never going to let–they’re going to help North Korea enough to survive and have a million-man army to keep them separate.
Thomas Nuzzo: So, unless they go it’s going to be like that. Now, people say, “Oh look at Germany–East Germany, West Germany,” yeah but East Germany and West Germany were not separate countries. Kore– South Korea, North Korea are recognized nations in the UN. That’s a very different relationship.
Thomas Nuzzo: You don’t unite two nations the way you unite the North and South in the Civil War, because people who make comparison to the American Civil War: it’s like the American Civil War, the North is fighting the South–no, no, it was one country invading another.
Interviewer: That’s a very important point that you just made and what do you think is the legacy? I think you already mentioned some of it, but the legacy of the Korean War?
Thomas Nuzzo: I wonder what it’s going to go down in history and so forth and so on. . .I don’t know what the legacy is. For me, the important historical military is and constitutional for this country, for the future of this country, in terms of our Constitution, is that no war was declared and no war has been declared since. Now this is not the true American Way.
Thomas Nuzzo: In other words, the politicians have circumvented Congress and they’re doing what they want to do. Because our tradition was only Congress declares War.
Thomas Nuzzo: I mean you had the marines went to Tripoli but that was just a company or two, but you know, but no major engagement was ever gotten into without congressional approval. And I’ll go one step further:
Thomas Nuzzo: I think that is one of the indications of the weakness of the United States–
Thomas Nuzzo: Because no politician has the nerve to even suggest making a declaration of war, because the people will say, “No no no no, no war, no war.” Now if you’re not willing to go to war for what you believe isn’t that a weakness? Now who’s fighting our wars since Vietnam, because even Vietnam was not a declared.
Thomas Nuzzo: Professionals. Did we have a draft for Afghanistan? No draft. The politicians can’t even ask for a draft! It wouldn’t be accepted. So, you’re hiring mercenaries. The regular army man is, it’s not a nice word but he’s a professional soldier and that’s what it was. And to me that’s a weakness.
Thomas Nuzzo: I see old Rome and old Greece when they were at their height and they started to hire the so-called “barbarians” and they–
Thomas Nuzzo: Yeah, from France and Germany, and the Greeks from Turkey and Russia, and they were starting to fight the wars for them, and then that was the beginning of [unintelligible].
Interviewer: Excellent point, excellent point that you made. Do you have a lesson that you want to share with the young generations in the United States, and also in Korea out of your service during the Korean War? What is the lesson for us?
Thomas Nuzzo: I don’t know.
Interviewer: Any comments for the young generation?
Thomas Nuzzo: What could I tell the young generation whether you’re Korean, American. . .I can’t, you know you can’t give them advice. You just hope, I just hope that that they will be involved and they will know what’s going on.
Thomas Nuzzo: Because. . .most of the people in America really don’t know what’s going on. You have a presidential election, only 50 percent of the people vote, okay? Now, 50 percent: 25 percent vote for one candidate 25 vote for the other. That means if you can convince 26 percent of the population, you can be president.
Interviewer: That’s all.
Thomas Nuzzo: 26. That’s nothing. Yeah one quarter. If you can convince one quarter of the population you could be president. Now to me that’s not a good thing.
Interviewer: That’s not a good thing.
Thomas Nuzzo: There’s no involvement. You talk to young Americans; they don’t know anything about anything. You ask them questions, I mean these are people that graduated high school, maybe even want to college.
Thomas Nuzzo: “Can you name one Founding Father?” “No, I don’t know any. . .”
Interviewer: That’s why we are doing this Korean War veteran digital memorial project because young generations working in the Web site, in the cyberspace, so my kids will do work with a veteran’s or yours through Facebook and Twitter so that they can have access to your interviews and. . .
Thomas Nuzzo: You to be educated. If you don’t institutionalize concepts and principles, they’re lost. And that’s what’s happening here: we’re losing a lot of our principles because they’re not actively being taught and told.
Interviewer: Thank You, Thomas, for the interview and we are reconfirming the Korean nation’s thankfulness to all men and women of–Americans who fought for the nations. Thank you so much.
Thomas Nuzzo: That is something the Korean veterans appreciate very much. I mean when we talk to each other we are astounded at the thankfulness of the Korean people. We just can’t get over it. My god they can’t stop saying thank you. So I said thank you to you.
Interviewer: Thank you very much.
Thomas Nuzzo: Gomabseubnida.
[End of recorded material]