Whatever anyone wants to call the Korean military engagement, it proved to be very costly in lives lost – over 37,000 in a little over a two-year period.
After reading James Brady’s Memoir of Korea, Walter Cronkite stated, “In all its horrors of this war that we’ve almost forgotten.”
At the Chosin Reservoir when the Chinese had surrounded nearly 1,000 Marines, General “Chesty” Puller said “with the enemy on the right, left, front and back, we have them just where we want them” and we won this battle with over 10,000 Chinese Communists.
President Harry S. Truman made a statement that the United States Marine Corps was the police force of the Navy. This didn’t do much for his credibility with the Marines!
Taking a page from Gen. Douglas MacArthur when he stated that “old soldiers never die, they just fade away” – my version is: “Old and young Marines never die either, they just keep on doing heroic things for others throughout the world.”
I lost a lot of friends in Korea and am proud of the four years I served my country – three years at Parris Island and one year in Korea. We helped keep South Korea free and helped build that country so they can now compete with anyone. The Marines today are doing an exceptional job and we should all be proud not only of the Marines but all of our military.
God Bless America!
Ray Stoess, USMC, 1950-54
2367 Valley Vista Road
Louisville, KY 40205