Korean War veterans Rich Peters, Dale Bouse, Joe Bryant and Louis Schmidt share stories as they look through a scrapbook Peters put together.
BDN photo by Mindy Honey

Korean vets not forgotten

By Mindy Honey
BDN Staff Writer

Louis Schmidt said he doesn’t glorify the Korean War.

Schmidt arrived in Korea January 1953, a time he described as when “everything had settled down to a degree.

“I was afraid I was going to miss it,” he said.

Schmidt was only in Korea until January 1954, and he missed two Christmases at home, but said that is not a big deal.

Schmidt said he believes it was those who lost their lives that deserve to be honored and remembered.

“It was a stupid war like all wars. People don’t like them but if you want freedom, you better be ready to fight for it,” he said.

Joe Bryant said he believes the war was worth it, now seeing how South Korea is prospering, but said the war was political.

“All wars are political,” he said.

Bryant’s words of advice to those who have served or are serving now, “Don’t be too quick to lose touch with the guys you serve with.”

Bryant arrived in Korea in August 1952.

He used to beat himself up for years about not being with his platoon when they went up Triangle Hill, where many were killed or injured. He was serving as an assistant information officer at the division at the time.

“I beat my head,” he said. “The Lord finally straightened me out one night.”

Dale Bouse wasn’t in Korea when the war broke out, he had already returned home.

“I volunteered in 1946 and we had a very short training session of two month basic training then I went to Korea January 1947,” he said.

Bouse returned in 1948 and was in the reserves, but transferred to the National Guard in 1949. Bouse described the war as “a lot of hardship and a lot of deaths from both sides.”

Rich Peters was sworn into the Navy June 26, 1950, the day after the war started.

“My war was pretty much work,” he said. “I didn’t get a scratch.”

Peters said the war, for him, was a defining moment in his life.

“The training was excellent,” he said. “I’ve had a fairly good life.”

As for the war, he said, at this point in time, he feels it was worth it.

“Even though our sacrifice was great, sometimes there are things worth fighting for and I think that was one of them. I’m very proud to be a part of it,” he said.

“Every day I mourn the loss of all the guys. That is why we gather out there every July at our monument.”

Today at 10 a.m., the Harry S. Truman Chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association will hold a commemorative ceremony honoring the 55th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice at the Korean War Monument inside Ozarks Memorial Park Cemetery in Branson.

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Branson Daily News  (Posted 7/26/08)