Jan/Feb 2013 - Korean War Veterans Association


Jan/Feb 2013 - Korean War Veterans Association

Attendees at Ch 250 Christmas dinner

Other local Koreans got “wind” of our guests. They included

Hugh Lee, President of the Mid-Michigan Korean Association,

Midland, MI, Woo Sung Sae of Midland, and two loca1 Korean pastors,

from Saginaw. Their presence led to some interesting exchanges

of information. Public Relations Director Bob Simon and his wife

Lois, Acting Historian, took the delegation to breakfast the following


Although the Korean delegation members were all born in South

Korea, most of them came to America between 4-6 years of age.

They were all interested in hearing Simon’s stories of Korea in the

1950s, especially about “Cheerful Charlie” and “Smiling Sam,” guys

who picked up human waste to put it in rice paddies. Today, real fertilizer

must be used and modern tractors work up the rice paddies.

Also, they could not believe the people did not own cars back


Then And Now

We held our November 7, 2012 meeting at the Aleda Lutz VA

Hospital in Saginaw, MI. We had 51 Korean vets present, plus 9

guests. The highlight of our meeting was a visit from the Korean

Consul General’s Office in Chicago. I had been contacting them for

three months to come and speak to us at our meeting.

Two Korean representatives came: Jin-Hyun Lee and Jae Kwang

Kim. They brought gifts for all of our members. The gifts were a

Peace Proclamation and a Peace Medal on a rainbow-colored neck


Ken Heck, Jacob Klemm (Front, L-R), Tony Blasey (Middle, in white shirt),

and Frank Licht to his left at Ch 251 meeting

Jin-Hyun Lee (L-Front), Bob Simon (to his right) and (Back, R-L) Woo Sung

Sae (Midland, MI), Jae Kwang Kim, Hugh Lee

Bob Simon of Ch 251

displays the “Peace

Medal” and miniature

pins and medal presented

by visitors

from Chicago Consul

General’s office

Members of Ch 251 at the Nov. 7, 20l2 meeting at the Aleda Lutz VA Hospital

then. Now, in big cities every home has two cars. Another thing, taxi

cabs were 1940s vintage. The drivers had to display an A or R, which

designated the days on which they could operate. (They were allowed

to drive only on odd or even days.)

Since there were zero gas stations, “slicky” boys would meet G.I.

5-ton tractor/cattle trailers waiting for secretaries, kitchen help,

mechanics, etc. for a ride to military compounds. The boys siphoned

30 to 50 gallons of gasoline while the Korean driver of the

tractor/trailers waited for workers to go to the military camps.

As a military policeman, I often wondered why these Korean

truck drivers would fill the two 50-gallon tanks on the labor trucks.

As Military Police out of Pusan, we would catch the boys, hand-

Continued on page 69


The Graybeards January - February 2013

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