from Harold L (Muley)
Mulhausen’s book "Korea-Memories of a U.S. Marine"
||More than 48 years have
passed since the start of the KOREAN WAR. 6 Million Americans and 20
other nations served during "The War". Here, in America, it is
called, "The Forgotten War".
It was the first war fought under the
flag of the United Nations. There is very little information about
"The War" in the History books of the schools. "This war" did
not have the majestic sweep, or the glory of WW II.
It did not
have the gut-wrenching trauma of Vietnam, except for those of us who
happened to serve in that bloody corner of S.E. Asia. We call this
"WAR" the "Forgotten Victory".
WARS, all wars, have
about them a certain sameness. They composed of, more or less, equal
parts of boredom, fear, exhilaration and sadness. War, means dust, mud,
heat and chilling cold, hunger, thirst, fatigue, blood, death and
comradeship. WAR, smells of burning cordite, or gun powder, urine,
excrement, decaying and putrefying burning flesh. WAR, has the bitter
taste of vomit, of warm stale water drank from a metal canteen. The
sounds of War. Is the eardrum smashing blast of big guns, exploding
mortars and grenades, the whine of shrapnel, the sobbing of the wounded
and a silence, a silence so profound you can hear your own breathing,
the throbbing of your heart and the blood flowing through your vein….
The sights of war, the combat veteran blots mostly, from his memory,
hoping it will never return…
In KOREA, men cried,
cursed and prayed in much the same way, as they did in WWII, Vietnam or
any War.. You feel the "icy hand of fear" on your heart and the
surge of adrenaline in your veins. The prayer of the Combat Soldier,
“Just Give Me Tomorrow”.. The nights, oh how I hated those nights.
The silence, millions of stars in the big sky, if it was not raining or
snowing. Some nights so black you could not see your foxhole buddy, next
to you.. Being alone with your thoughts, thoughts of the good times,
with loved ones, and places far away, and waiting, waiting for the
Hoards of Chinese to come at you, out of the night, blowing bugles,
yelling, throwing grenades and shooting Burp-Guns. You never forget the
sound of the “Burp-Gun…”Lord just give me tomorrow”…
|The long awaited dawn
filtered through the frozen gun smoke-fog haze.. Combat’s crescendo
faded to sporadic bursts of vicious at scattered locations in and around
Men who thought they would never see the dawn greeted
exhausted “Battle Brothers” with big grins on their powder-smudged
faces.. Checking to see who survived and who became memories.
pass through the “Combat Gauntlet” know that each day is a “Gift
from God.. This day may bring joy, pain, grief, or a mix of all of the
above.. Remember, "God" still has HIS PLAN going.
understand everything that is happening in our lives, but we were given
this day for a purpose, A great purpose, if we let Christ lead us..
War is a thing of young
men. Most of those who do the fighting are teenagers, or scarcely in
their 20’s. There are "Old men" on the battlefield, but most of
them have learned the art of survival and some are removed from
that part of the fighting. Most of the "old men" who lead their
troops into combat, were in their 20’s. In the presence of "Battle" teenagers become men, and in a hurry. The baby fat falls
off, their eyes harden and their speech becomes short, choppy and
mindlessly profane. Much is left unsaid, because most things that matter are just understood.
In those days, the "Silent Veterans" of KOREA, were young, full of the juice of
And, perhaps, because death was no stranger, they felt vividly alive, in
a way few will ever feel again.
Few of those of us, who
served in KOREA, never heard of Syngman Rhee. We answered the call to
defend a country they never heard of and a people they never met. In
that innocent, far off, time in their life, it never occurred to us to
say NO!. By the act of our going and shared in the crucible of war, we
Remembering the faces of
our dead comrades, we carved, in our hearts, a secret place, where no
stranger will ever intrude. After our tour of duty, in hell, it came to
an end for us. We came home, alone. No bands, parades or fan fare. We
picked up the disparate threads of our lives. We went to work, raising
our families, and trying to forget "those days". Some of us
prospered, others did not. But each of us knew, for that time in our
lives, in a distant land, we had marched in the company of "Great
Memories grow dim. Even
in places where we fought, Seoul, Puson-Perimeter, Inchon, Frozen Chosin,
Fox hill, Kuni-ri, Bunker Hill, Old Baldy, Punch Bowl, "MIG ALLEY",
Heartbreak Ridge, and today, The DMZ. Memories, of that time in our
lives, are all but forgotten.. No one can ever fully grasp the horror
and awfulness, without actually being on the ground, not only to see,
but to feel the presence, and to smell the sickening stench of the
dead.. Only those who have lived in the world of war can ever know what
war was like..
The surviving Veterans of
"That War", are men in their 60’s and early 70’s. Many have
passed on and joined the 54,246 who died in the fighting in Korea. 603
of those KIA’s are from Oklahoma.. It is unlikely these Veterans will
demonstrate in front of the capital or throw their medals over the fence
on-to the White House lawn. It is not our style.. We remain now, as we
did then, a silent generation that asked no thanks, and we got none, for
what we did. It is very difficult for the Korean Veteran to talk about
that time in life. One thing We must remember;
IS NOT FREE"