The Official Newsletter of the
Shenandoah Valley Chapter #313
Korean War Veterans Association
This won't be the first time Ewing and Keep have returned to South Korea, traveling to the peninsula in 2006 and 2015, respectively, thanks to the Revisit Korea Program organized by the South Korean government to invite Korean War veterans back to the country.
Ewing recalled how Korea today contrasted with his first memories of the country.
"When we left Korea in the 1950s, the city of Seoul was total devastation, just nothing but rubble," he said. "The tallest building I remember seeing was taller than a one-story building, but it was all bombed out.
"Now today, Seoul is like any metropolitan city in the United States, high-rise buildings that go up forever. It's absolutely amazing the progress they've made over there in 60-plus years since the war. It shows you how hardworking and energetic the Korean people are and how they really won't give up."
Courtesy of Lewis Ewing
A 19-year-old Corporal Lewis Ewing in Chuncheon, South Korea, 1953 while serving with the U.S. Army's 6th Helicopter Company
"But also it's amazing how friendly they are," he added, "and how they show their appreciation to the American GI."
For vets like Ewing and Keep, that appreciation is priceless.
"It means a lot to us, because when we came home from Korea, nobody knew where we were, or cared," Keep said.
"So most of us didn't talk about it much until recent years. We started having interactions with different groups of Korean organizations, and that's when we started thinking about it once again, and the people have always shown great appreciation for us."
The Korean War is often referred to as "the forgotten war" because of how little attention it received during and after the conflict. Korea did not galvanize U.S. popular support or protest the way World War II or Vietnam did. And when it began in 1950, then-U.S. President Harry Truman termed it a "police action," an undeclared military action under the auspices of the United Nations.
(Ed. Note: article provided by Member Jim Fisher.)