National convention, october 2-5, 2005, in bossier - Korean War ...

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National convention, october 2-5, 2005, in bossier - Korean War ...

THE SHOES OF A KOREAN VET

By Jack D. Ross, 418 Mills Street, Sandusky OH 44870.

It was fifty years ago in a place far away

but the memories remain and surface each day

of the mission of our platoon, to defend a barren hill

from the North Korean soldiers and it was kill or be killed

with artillery and machine guns carbines and men

you fight off the enemy again and again

you defend the damn mountain till the objective was met

you’re walking in the shoes of a Korean vet

there are medics shooting morphine into a wounded man’s vein

to silence the cry and lessen the pain

the stench of bodies, the unforgettable smell

makes your whole body tremble and you’re scared as hell

a good friend you seek out, but he was in the wrong place

for now an olive drab blanket is covering his face

you look to the heavens and quietly pray

but your prayers go unanswered day after day

the chaplain is busy helping carry the injured men

to the helicopter landing where fighting had been

you recall when it ended, we’ve all held our ground

and it’s time to go home and there’s hardly a sound

if you often wonder is this as bad as it gets

you’re walking in the shoes of a Korean vet

you were among the lucky, back on American soil

but what you’ve been thru still makes your blood boil

all this has turned you into an angry young man

who committed legalized murder with blood on his hands

you don’t want to look at people passing by

just want to be alone and you’re too proud to cry

there are times when you think you’d be better off dead

and visions of suicide rush thru your head

and you tell yourself that time heals all wounds

after all these years you know it’s not going away soon

you don’t watch war movies in the theater or on t. v.

cause you know it could trigger another of these

heartbreaking memories that you’re trying to forget

then you’re walking in the shoes of a Korean vet

there are more wars a coming, and I’m too old to fight

but when I look at our great banner, it’s stars and it’s stripes

it sends shivers thru my body, and I know right then

for liberty and freedom, I’d do it all over again.

Hold Onto

That Beer

On July 6, 1952, the weather was hot

and muggy. At sunset, the Chinese

again attacked Charlie Battery of the 17 F

AB.

Section One was called upon to return

counter-battery. The gun immediately came

under direct fire from the Chinese guns. A

volley landed directly on the gun position,

one round exploding in the parapet in front

of the gun, and one fell just behind the

trails. The position was enveloped in dust

and smoke. The cannoneers found their

way back to their bunker one by one.

Miraculously, no one was injured. They

returned to the gun and finished the mission.

The gunners returned to their bunker,

huddling in the darkness as shells continued

to land within the perimeter. The temperature

began to rise, and I sought the cooler

air of the slit trench which served as the

entrance to the bunker. I was soon joined by

another crew member, and then another. I

then climbed to a position just over the

door.

When another volley came down on the

position, I hugged the ground as shrapnel

whistled about me. I then ran into the squad

tent and “liberated” several cans of beer

belonging to the track driver. He was

assigned to the motor pool when we were

under fire, so he was not present to protest.

I took the loot back to the top of the

bunker, where I tried to drink the liquid as

rapidly as I could, seeking some respite

from the incoming shells. Soon, I was

joined by another member of the crew. As

others sought the coolness atop the bunker,

they were told that they had to take positions

away from the door behind the first

arrivals.

When another volley came down on the

position, there was a mad dash for the safety

of the bunker. I held firmly on to my beer,

but found my hand locked in position by

another crew member on top of me. The

liquid poured slowly down on the men in

the trench below me. With much groaning,

we were finally able to disentangle ourselves

and return to the safety of the bunker.

James A. Frowein, 24434 W. Lancelot

Lane, Joliet, IL 60431, 17th FAB – “C” &

“HQ & HQ”, 4/1/52 to 5/13/53

85

The Graybeards

July - August A

2005

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