Medal for Korean War Vets, 50 Years Later - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

11/12/03

Medal for Korean War Vets, 50 Years Later

Burns (r) presents the medal to Wilds. Burns (r) presents the medal to Wilds.

They served our country honorably. Now, more than 50 years later, veterans of the Korean War are being rewarded for their efforts. Rep. Max Burns (R-GA Dist. 12) presented four veterans with medals from the Republic of Korea. And even though this recognition is coming a half century late, veterans say they're still honored and moved to receive it.

"It's a great honor for me to receive this medal," Cpl. Lonnie Wilds (ret.) said. "When most of the men came home from Korea, we were not even recognized."

Wilds was one of four Korean War veterans at American Legion Post 184 presented with the Korean War Service Medal today. It was issued only two years ago by the Republic of Korea, on the 50th anniversary of the Korean Conflict. "It's a little late in coming, but I'm honored to receive it and it's a good thing they've done," said Wilds.

Wilds served with the Army Engineers. Although his main job was building airstrips and roads, he was by no means out of harm's way. Once, guerrillas set fire to their ammunition supply, and they battled the flames for 24 hours, to keep it from reaching a supply of bombs. "We lost some equipment," he recalled. "Some shells went into the sides of the equipment and knocked them out, but we didn't lose any men."

Congressman Burns has presented more than 50 medals to Korean War veterans, but Burns and the government hope to find more so they can be honored for their service. "As we go through our history, we have to make sure the people who serve our country and protect our freedoms, we remember their service," the congressman said.

If you or someone you know is a Korean War veteran, you can contact Congressman Burn's office for information on the Korean War Service Medal.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com

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