|Our approach is generally rather simple. Shown below is a descriptive outline that we follow on each
presentation. On occasion it is altered slightly, depending on the grade level and the time available. The
groups we work with range from 5th and 6th grades to Seniors in high school. The time we have varies from
45-90 minutes and on occasion we have had as many as eight classes per day over a two day period. Most of
the schools call us for October/November time frame, around veteran’s day or when they are teaching subjects
on the Far East in Social Studies. In Texas, the Far East curriculum seems to occur around March and April.
All veterans appear in our chapter uniform (white shirt and black pants with chapter logo and decorations).
We also arrange several flags in a semicircle as backdrop to the area where we make the presentations. So
far all the schools have provided us with a VCR for the video. We generally ask that the school provide us
with tables for display of a number of Korean posters and other memorabilia that we have. (See note* below).
- INTRODUCTION—In the introduction we start by telling why we have come to the school. During
this time we emphasize the theme that “Freedom is not Free” and that many have made sacrifices for the
freedoms we enjoy today. We tell them what we are going to do and give some background information on
Korea, about where it is and why it was important for us to do what we did in 1950. We also take the
opportunity for the veterans present to introduce themselves. Then we provide a short introduction of the
video that is about to be shown. This part is no more than 5-7 minutes.
- VIDEO—The video that we use is about 11 minutes long. It is part of a 1 hour video that was
obtained from KWVA National Headquarters in 2003 and was made to be a part of the 50th anniversary
celebration. We like the tape because it is short and a very good synopsis of the Korean War and points
out that Freedom is not Free and the war was the first step in the downfall of Communism. Our Chapter will
make a copy of the portion we use and provide to others who are interested in having it. We normally
charge $20 for this to cover copying and mailing costs.
- REMEMBRANCE TABLE—At each of the
presentations we talk with the students about POWs and those who were Missing in Action and that we have a
ceremony that pays tribute to these soldiers. The table is set up with the POW/MIA flag behind it and one
of the vets describes the symbolic meaning of all parts of the arrangement on the table. We use a card
table with four folding chairs. It is covered with a white table cloth and set with four place
settings-plates, knives and forks. We also have drinking glasses that are turned upside down at each place
setting and a vase in the middle with a red rose and red ribbon tied around the center of the vase. In
each plate we place a dress uniform head covering that represents each of the major services—Army, Air
Force, Navy, and Marines. On the table we also have a small plate with a slice of lemon and small amount
of salt. This has always been impressive to both students and teachers. The wording for this presentation
is attached to another e-mail. This part takes about 5-7 minutes. We generally follow the attached script
when making this presentation. This presentation provides a great opportunity to tell personal stories of
those veterans might know who were MIA/POWs and talk some about the statistics of those who were killed,
wounded, and prisoners during the war.
- COMBAT EXPERIENCES—At this point we usually have 1 or 2 veterans tell of their personal
experiences in combat during the war. We have several who are good at telling of their experience in the
Army and in combat and most of the time holds the attention of the students very well. They seem to always
be very interested in this part ask lots of questions afterward. We have several who have Purple Hearts
and get lots of questions about how they were wounded. It is also a good time to show again that someone
has paid a price for the freedoms we have today—one of our members lost a leg and his left eye and he can
really drive that point home. This part is flexible depending on the amount of time we have—if we have an
hour one person will talk for 15 minutes or so. If we have 90 minutes we can usually work in two people.
- QUESTIONS—This is usually the fun time especially with the younger groups. They have lots of
questions and a lot of it relates to the experiences that were talked about so it is important that the
ones who talked are able to answer questions. On numerous occasions we run out of class time before
getting all the questions answered.
*Note: Where possible we set up tables around the room so we can place posters and
pictures (mostly obtained from National KWVA headquarters) from the war. We also have various items from
the army surplus store that are placed on the tables. Helmets, field telephone, canteens, first aid
kits, cartridge belt, field manuals are also placed on the table for them to see. Some vets have show
boxes with their decorations displayed and this always attracts a lot of attention.
Many of the classes have written letters to tell us how much they liked the presentation and expressed
appreciation for our service.
January 19, 2005
Education Officer/1st V.P.-Chapter 215 General Walton H. Walker