Okay, so I didn't write this...I stole it directly off of my Dad's blog, thanks daddy! (c: But I thought this was an AMAZING story that I actually hadn't heard and a fantastic reminder about why we get a day off each year in May to remember the heros that keep our nation free...
Thoughts on Memorial Day
As we celebrate Memorial Day and honor all those men and women who have defended threats to our American way of life, my thoughts turned to my Dad. He fought in the Korean war. He left college after one semester because he felt he was going to get drafted anyway. He was just a young kid fresh out of High School and a few months later he was in Korea. How about going from a kid with no cares to having to watch out for somebody trying to kill you? Makes you grow up fast!
I'm not sure how the heck they got my Dad to smile like this in a picture. I don't think I have even seen a picture where he was smiling this big except his wedding photo. Did they tell jokes? Did they threaten them? I don't know, but it is a great picture.
I think this is outside the barracks where he went through basic training.
This is Dad next to his "Willys Jeep" on a road near his outfit in Korea. He was stationed in what was called the "Punch Bowl". It was right on the front. From his position, he could see the communist (enemy) territory. He loved driving any kind of vehicle and told me that whenever they asked for volunteers to drive anything he would tell them he knew how to drive it. Then he would figure out how to drive whatever it was "on the fly". He was pretty good at it from his farm upbringing.
How would you like to live in this? If you look closely, you will notice it had about 4' - 5' of sandbags on the roof. The sandbags were in case a mortar shell made a direct hit on their bunker, they would have a better chance of survival.
This is Dad and Pete Bush, his Squad leader at this station. From things he wrote on the back of pictures, I think he thought well of Pete. Dad received the Bronze Star for taking command of his platoon when his commander was killed during an attack. I don't know if Pete was the one killed or not. His station was on a side of a mountain facing a valley and the mountain on the other side was enemy territory. Dad's job was sighting-in the artillery that shot from behind his mountain and over him into enemy territory. The enemy knew what Dad's platoon did and was always sniping at them, firing mortars and generally making life dangerous.
Talk about a "Tough Hombre". Carbine in hand, grenade on the belt.
I know Dad was proud of his service in Korea. He answered the call to serve his country. I would like to think I would do the same if I was needed in the same way, but until it actually happens you really never know how you would react. Dad never said this, but he was a real life hero - taking command of his squad under the conditions he did and serving in a dangerous position on the front lines of the war. Men like my Dad sacrificed so we can enjoy the life we do, in comfort, in safety, with the freedoms we have. I would like to honor our service men and women this Memorial Day and every day that I live in freedom. I am very grateful for all of them, especially Delmer E. Wallace.