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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 the perimeter. 

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.

Most men 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.

We don’t 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 life... 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 were bonded.

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 Men".

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;



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Digger History:  an unofficial history of the Australian & New Zealand Armed Forces