Korean War Legacy Project

Warren Ramsey

Bio

Warren Ramsey was born April 1930 in Ayrshire, Iowa.  Before he even graduated from high school, he had enlisted in the U.S Army Air Corp in 1947, which would eventually become the Air Force.  He loved the structure of military life, and saw a career in the armed services as the best way to see the world.  After completing basic training, Warren Ramsey’s main job was air transport.  His duties included delivering supplies and troops to Japan, where they would then be sent to Korea.  Troop transport of the injured soldiers was another job of his.  After the Korean War, Warren Ramsey continued in the military until he retired in 1971 as a Chief Master Sergeant.

Clips

Air Transport Duties and Making Connections With the Injured Soldiers in Flight

Warren Ramsey started serving at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii in 1949. Before the Korean War started, he would service and repair air planes. Once the war began, he deliver supplies and troops from Hawaii while pulling out the injured United States soldiers.

Tags: Food,Front lines,Living conditions,Personal Loss,Physical destruction,Pride,Weapons

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82oNqNU7xGQ&start=278&end=428

A Quiet, Ignored, Forgotten War

Warren Ramsey was stationed in Germany from 1952-1955 when the Korean War ended. He considered it a quiet war because United States civilians were not informed through mass media about the Korean War since WWII just ended 5 years before the war started. Since Warren Ramsey fought in both the Korean War and the Vietnam War, he was able to compare the experiences of soldiers coming home from war. He was ignored for one and called "Baby Killer" after the other war.

Tags: Civilians,Fear,Front lines,Home front,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Personal Loss,Pride

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82oNqNU7xGQ&start=544&end=754

Early Entry into the Military and Loving Every Minute of It!

Before the Korean War, Warren Ramsey was in high school and joined the Air Force before he graduated high school in 1947. After graduating high school, he went to Lackland Air Force Base for boot camp. Thankfully, warren Ramsey thought that the transition to the United States military was not difficult because we grew up in Boy Scouts and the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). After training, he was stationed at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii where he worked with troop and supply transport.

Tags: Basic training,Civilians,Home front,Living conditions,Pride

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82oNqNU7xGQ&start=0&end=208

Video Transcript

my name is Warren Ramsey Chief Master
00:03
Sergeant United States Air Force retired
00:05
I served from 1947 in 1971 i was born in
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air sure iowa actually at the hospital
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in emmitsburg and in 1930 april of
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nineteen thirty i was actually in in
00:24
high school and I actually went into the
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air force on it basically a delayed
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entry program I went in January of 47
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and signed up but then they gave me to
00:38
graduate to come out of high school that
00:40
June and they gave me a couple of weeks
00:42
so I went to actually went the the first
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of August of 47 on active duty did my
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basic training down in San Antonio at
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Lackland Air Force Base well actually it
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wasn’t too much of a shock for me
00:59
because it seems I’ve ended up in some
01:01
type of a uniform all my life starting
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off with the Boy Scouts then all in high
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school I was in ROTC so I was familiar
01:09
with the military and do all of the
01:12
basic commands and drill procedures and
01:15
had qualified with weapons and
01:16
everything prior so there was no
01:18
cultural shock and what was it that made
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you choose to go into the military and
01:26
specifically into the air force well at
01:29
the time I thought it would be my best
01:34
opportunity to see the world and it was
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and the reason i chose the Air Force is
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because they had so many bases in so
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many different countries worldwide that
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I knew I come close at least two getting
01:48
someplace that I really wanted to be I
01:50
spent actually about 14 years in the
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combination they check the military has
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a way of every few years of changing the
01:59
names of things i started off it was air
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transport service then it went to matts
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military air transport service and then
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it went to Mack military airlift
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and this was all with transports and
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when I was stationed at Hickam Air Force
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Base away the outbreak of the Korean War
02:20
why that’s what I was in at that time
02:23
was military airlift command heading
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into the military did you think about
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the fact that you might go to war no
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actually at that time you know in fact a
02:33
lot of guys got caught after the end of
02:37
World War two had only been over for
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five years and so a lot of them thought
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the reserves and Air Guard would be a
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good place to be because no one dreamed
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there would be anything happen anyplace
02:47
in the world they thought after everyone
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saw the results of World War two that
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they had had enough and were smart
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enough to avert and avoid any situations
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like that so that was the last thing on
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anyone’s mind was being in a conflict of
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any type the age we were all of us in
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the Korean War basically were 20 years
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old there were so though quite a few of
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World War two guys that we’re in
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naturally but you’re invincible at 20
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you don’t worry about things like you
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aren’t going to die that that may be the
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other guy will but it’s not going to
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happen to you did you receive any kind
03:29
of specialized training no I of course I
03:34
would in the time it was still the Army
03:36
Air Corps so I actually went through
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army basic training so as far as it
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would be for instance weapons
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familiarization why we did the same
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thing as as the army we went to we had
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mortar training and heavy machine gun
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training and the carbine and the rifle
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and the 45 and so I’d had all of that
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and there was no other they did give us
04:00
in case we happen to be shot down
04:03
someplace inadvertently why they gave us
04:06
escape and evasion tactics and training
04:11
but that was oh maybe a week course or
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something like that so there but really
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nothing particular I was a crew chief
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flight engineer on this at that time we
04:24
were flying c-54s
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and then continued on through the rest
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of the Air Force and spent another 12 13
04:33
years with the OC 120 fours in the same
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position or just general in-flight
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monitoring edge made sure that you did
04:49
maintenance on the aircraft Oh anything
04:51
that was need fixing after you landed
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you service the aircraft just made sure
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she was ready to go and fuel loads and
05:06
oil and you made sure that the oh the
05:11
invite lunches were put in the proper
05:13
place and things like that and when you
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serviced why you always threw an extra
05:20
500 gallons for Mama and the kids just
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in case something went wrong well at the
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time the career I went to Hawaii at
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Hickam Air Force Base in 1949 and of
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course Korea busted loose in June of 50
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so at that we were flying out of even
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prior to the war we were flying up into
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Korea occasionally delivering supplies
05:44
and things like that our prime mission
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we’d leave Hickam and do a little island
05:48
hopping and then end up in Japan one of
05:50
the bases there and then pick up
05:52
whatever and take it up into Korea at
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the various bases our mission didn’t
05:57
change that much even after the war week
05:59
until we accelerated and did a lot more
06:01
of it and carried more troops up in and
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then of course as things progressed to
06:07
why we started bringing walking wounded
06:11
per se from Korea down into the
06:13
hospitals in Japan and then transporting
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other patients from Japan back to their
06:21
was tripler General Hospital in Honolulu
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was a tremendous large army facility and
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we brought people back to their in the
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beginning it’s just a a normal job but
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the things you remember faces that you
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think you see he’ll bring back a wounded
06:45
soldier and you look at him and you say
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gee I think I remember carrying him in
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two countries three weeks ago you know
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this but of course it didn’t happen that
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often but you you you became bonded with
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them in just a matter of hours so it was
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it was quite an experience we think a
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friend of mine and it’s in the
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organization here I didn’t become
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acquainted with him until after we
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joined the Korean War veterans here but
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we got to comparing dates and i knew
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that i was in country on my 21st
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birthday and he was wounded and was in
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fact on and he thinks he remembers me
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from that now 60 years ago we all looked
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alike but it’s very possible that i flew
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him out of Korea and into Japan 60 years
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ago like friendships and comradery did
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you form well we still have the outfit
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that I haven’t kept in contact I lost
08:06
Connor I lost contact with the people
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out at Hickam because I went from there
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came back to the states i was only back
08:14
here for about five months and I’ve
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rotated to germany and was gone for
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three years so i didn’t keep too many
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contacts from back there but the the big
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outfit i spent with the in utah for a
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number of years and we have a reunion
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every other year so and there will be
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two or three hundred of us gather for
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that and again there are people that
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have of course that were in the same
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situation I was back then so we have
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stories to tell that we relate to places
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we had been that was the same with other
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people but as far as individuals no I
08:58
haven’t maintained with anyone
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specifically that I was with back then
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those yours where were you when the war
09:06
ended I was actually stationed in
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Germany and of course as long as you
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were on active duty at the time it was
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just like World War two you didn’t have
09:19
to actually be in a given theater to be
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considered part of as a Korean veteran
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so even if I hadn’t been in the
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beginning at Hawaii and into Korea by
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being stationed in Germany in 52 to 55
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why I still would have been considered a
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Korean War veteran but there was very
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little we were it was a quiet war if you
09:47
will in as far as the civilians were
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concerned there was very little
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publicity in fact I remember when I came
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back home in 51 why Oh where you been
10:05
well Pacific participating oh there’s a
10:11
war going on yeah there certainly is the
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government at the time had pretty well I
10:19
won’t say they censored the news media
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but it was their desire was that things
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weren’t blown up to any extent actually
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you know it was it started just a little
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under five years from the time that
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world war two was over and I think all
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the politicians were so afraid that if
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they declared another war they would go
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ahead and every one of them to get
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thrown out of office so that first it
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was a police action and then it was a
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conflict and it wasn’t until about oh I
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don’t know 15 years ago or so that
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Congress finally got around to
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officially declaring it a war but there
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was quite an attendant as a say in
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Germany I think garsh things have been
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over a couple other or the truce had
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been signed a couple of days where we
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even found out about it how did that
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feel to have been a part of it and seen
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what things were like and then to come
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home and have be ignored well I don’t
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know I think like most of the people I
11:29
just shrugged it off and said oh well
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you know it’s their loss they don’t know
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the comrade ships that we developed and
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they don’t know what and they’ll never
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know if you didn’t participate why and
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unlike you were really really ignored
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more than anything unlike the poor guys
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coming home from you know when I when I
12:00
left Vietnam basically they told us
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carry civilian clothes with you and get
12:12
into the airport and change and get out
12:14
of your uniform otherwise you’ll have
12:17
people throwing whatever at you and
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calling you baby killer and so forth
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nasaan because of the conflict with the
12:24
Vietnam War and none of that occurred
12:29
from Korea’s as I said we were just
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basically Julia ignored so after the
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Korean War what made you want to stay in
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the military longer I found a home I
12:44
really enjoyed the military life I just
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said I enjoyed the travel I was where
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I’ve been on fortunately with the
12:52
airport’s I’ve been in some great
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outfits I’ve been on every continent
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I’ve been in 24 different european
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countries i’ve been on every island and
13:01
the pacific that you could put an
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airplane down on met a lot of wonderful
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people I still correspond with
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fact a lady back in the 60s that babysat
13:15
for us in England we still Christmas
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cards every year I was fortunate when I
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was stationed in Germany to get a German
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hunting license and with a doctor in
13:29
he’s my age a doctor in Frankfurt
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Germany that I still correspond with so
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worldwide acquaintances and and just the
13:41
opportunity and really makes you
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appreciate what you’ve got here at home
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seeing how the rest of the world how
13:50
they have to live and the things that
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the situation’s they have to put up with
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why makes you pretty proud to be say
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well I am an American how did you like
14:01
stay in contact with friends and family
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back home Oh normal snail mail if you
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will of course and telephone I’d call
14:15
once month home and rates were quite
14:17
reasonable at the time and everything
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and so I had no problems there at all
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can you tell me about the veteran
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organization that you’re a part of now
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well I belong to of course the American
14:31
Legion and the VFW and i am commander of
14:36
the Korean War Veterans chapter 2 72
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here in rockford illinois is quite an
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honor we have some 72 active members we
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have a very active color guard we have a
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program where we go out to the schools
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and present programs to any of the
14:56
classes that are interested and quite a
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few of them are a couple of our high
15:02
schools have had very active veteran
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interview programs similar very similar
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to this one and we’ve had a quite a
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number of our people that go to that so
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we were already booked for veterans day
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of course and for a couple of schools
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the first week in november
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so we we have semi uniforms and then we
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take the opportunity of course and we
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show the flag whenever we can how did
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your wartime experiences affect your
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life well I was fortunate enough that of
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course i was lucky never wounded ducked
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a lot but unlike some of the troops that
16:00
you know had some severe combat
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experiences and everything i was
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fortunate so mine there were never any
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lasting after effects of any type
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whatsoever you learn a great deal of
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empathy when you’re traveling with
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wounded heroes and i’ll call them heroes
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because anyone as your grandfather we’ve
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always said although this weekend I was
16:42
with two Medal of Honor winners which of
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course is certainly the highest award
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the nation can give and are certainly
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heroes but in most cases and most GIS
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feel this way that our heroes are all
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the majority of them from the wars are
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in military cemeteries we aren’t walking
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around and so I was fortunate I’ve never
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had any any side effects or after
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effects through what are some life
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lessons
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feel like you’ve learned from military
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service well I suppose is probably about
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one of the biggest things nothing is
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impossible if you work together as a
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team you get situations that people
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would back off and say oh I can’t do
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that see now wait a minute to think
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about this now you can’t but you and you
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and I weekend and that and nothing is
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ever good enough there’s an old saying
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that good enough is ever the enemy of
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excellence and so believe it or not in
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the military we never at least in my
18:16
organizations we never let things stand
18:18
good enough it was always so now we’ll
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do it and do it right do you have any
18:24
advice that you would like to leave for
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future generations probably the biggest
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thing I’m trying to think General
18:36
Washington at the time said paraphrase
18:45
said something basically that the
18:54
country is only as great as reflected
19:00
the way the populace treats its veterans
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and that would be my biggest thing is
19:15
don’t push the veterans aside we don’t
19:21
want any handouts we don’t want anything
19:24
on a platter but give us our just dues