Phoenix

Arizona veteran reflects on the Korean War – the ‘forgotten’ war

An Arizona Korean War veteran travels to Washington D.C. to go to the war memorial inbuilt reminiscence of his fallen associates.

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — How can anybody neglect a war?

“They call it the Forgotten War,” Charles Pilon mentioned, standing at the Korean War Memorial in Washington D.C. “I haven’t forgotten. I’ll never forget.”

It wasn’t straightforward for Charles to come back right here. He served 13 months in the Korean War. That was nearly half the war. And it was greater than sufficient for him. 

“Yeah, a huge mark on my life,” Pilon mentioned. “My life changed considerably when I got home. I don’t think I’m the same person.”

The Korean War Memorial is three items. The first is a bunch of statues of troopers on patrol in Korea. To their proper is a granite wall with faces of Korean War veterans, representing all the veterans. And in entrance of them is a round wall of names of each soldier killed in the war.

“I was a medic,” Charles mentioned. “We did what we could. We lost a lot of people. Their names are there.”

Those troopers died combating a war that the majority do not keep in mind ever came about. But in simply three years, 1.7 million folks served. 36,000 had been killed and 4,700 had been taken as prisoners of war. 

The Arizona Honor Flight introduced Charles and a busload of different veterans to Washington D.C. in September to see the monuments and memorials constructed of their honor. 

As Charles walked previous the statues of anonymous veterans on the march, he stopped at the lead statue and saluted. 

“I was excited to see my brothers,” he mentioned. 

Then, he turned and headed for the wall, searching for acquainted names. One particularly.

Chaplain Emil Kapaun served in Korea at the identical time Charles did. Kapaun was captured and put in a Chinese POW camp. He had the alternative to depart, however refused to desert the males he was imprisoned with. He died in the POW camp. 

RELATED: Remains of Korean War soldier might be buried in Arizona

Kapaun was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor and is at the moment being thought-about for sainthood inside the Catholic Church. 

And he turned Charles’s adopted saint, even when Kapaun is not technically a saint but. 

It was somewhat religion present in a battlefield that led Charles again residence, and now, again to his brothers.

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