Korean vets remember ‘The Forgotten War’ | NevadaAppeal.com

Korean vets remember ‘The Forgotten War’

Rhonda Costa-Landers

Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal Fred Williams, Director of the Korean War Veterans Association's Northern Nevada Chapter #198 sits in front of the Korean Flag during a meeting of the Åssociation Thursday afternoon. B

Men who fought “The Forgotten War” are proud of the service they gave their country and believe civilians today have a better understanding of the job they had to do.

A sticker on the side of a cabinet at Veterans Hall in Carson City reflects their feelings: “Land of the Free – Because of the Brave.”

“Veterans Day is a time to reflect for all of us,” said Richard Hyde, president of the chapter. “The price of freedom is not free – it is very costly.

“I think civilians understand vets did a job to protect them and keep their land free.”

Veterans Day, formerly Armistice Day, is the anniversary of the Armistice which was signed in the Forest of Compiegne by the Allies and the Germans in 1918, ending World War I, after four years of conflict.

The name was changed to Veterans Day by act of Congress on May 24, 1954. President Dwight D. Eisenhower referred to the change of name to Veterans Day in honor of the servicemen of all America’s wars.

Recommended Stories For You

The Korean War Veterans Association Carson City Chapter 198 meets once a month at Veterans Hall. Their meetings keep vets up to date on local events and chapter involvement.

Hyde, 71, joined the U.S. Army when he was 16. He was wounded in action and sent home because of his injury. He never received a Purple Heart.

“I was a forward observer with Field Artillery 780th Battalion, attached to the 10th Core 1st Marine Division. I left as a sergeant first class.

“The last major battle in Korea was called the Nevada Complex. The four hills defended vigorously by the Fifth Division were Carson, Reno, Elko and Vegas.”

Marjorie Sieber, 73, was a member of the Women’s Army Corps from 1949-1951. She served in the signal corps with the 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, N.C.

“It was something special, being a part of it,” Sieber said. “I don’t have the same feelings as those who went to Korea. I feel sorry for some of them – their minds aren’t the same.”

Also serving in Korea was Ed Small, 74. He was in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1948-1957. He is part of “The Chosin Few.”

The Chosin Few are men who returned alive after an intense battle at The Chosin Reservoir. Small gets choked up and tears well in his eyes as he recalled, but could not speak about, three of his childhood friends who were killed in the attack.

“I was a private first class,” Small said. “I was in the 5th Marine Anti-Tank Regimental Weapons. We went to Inchon first, then came in on the third wave (amphibious) and went to the Chosin Reservoir,” his voice then fading off. He was a tech sergeant at discharge.

Small believes there is respect to veterans today, more so on the West Coast than back East.

“They used to ignore us,” Dave Fenlon said. “Not so much anymore.”

Fenlon, 74, was a Marine buck sergeant with HNS First Marines.

Some of the chapter members will participate in the Virginia City Veterans Day Parade at 11 a.m. Thursday They will also be part of a Veterans Day ceremony at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Dayton Ceremony.

They received a first-place plaque for their Special Interest/Military entry in the Nevada Day parade.

The chapter recently began a project to build a memorial at Riverview Park at the end of Fifth Street. They are working with the Carson City Parks and Recreation Department. The memorial will have five large rocks with plaques on them, along with three flag poles displaying the United States, Nevada and Korean flags.

“It will cost about $4,000,” Hyde said. “So we’re going to hold a few fund-raisers to help pay for it. We need to raise about $2,000. The Reno chapter will donate money, also.”

The public can donate to the memorial be sending donations to the Korean War Veterans Memorial, 3205 Mayflower Way, Carson City, 89706. Or call Hyde at 882-3496 or 450-7191.

Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at rcosta-landers@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1223.