In the 1950s, six of us in the same family either enlisted or were drafted, four of us ended up in Korea, including this writer. There were many young men barely out of their teens, and included many U.S. reservists from WW2, and many other countries, who also served, fought and many died there in a horrific war. One which we were totally unprepared for, which begs many questions and views. This also happened in previous and subsequent wars.

Why were we, and many others, there to begin with? The answer is quite simple, to protect Korea and its border with North Korea, a very belligerent communist power, from entering the border and taking it over.

We left over 38,000 young Americans dead there plus over 7,500 MIAs never to be heard from again, but the border was finally secured despite all these high costs. I came back on a troop ship twice, we were loaded with wounded, returnees, and many caskets below decks containing our young casualties, this was the horrible price we paid to protect another nation’s borders and sovereignty.

Now comes a time for our own country to protect it’s borders, and suddenly it’s inhumane, immoral, etc., etc., etc. to protect our own. Have we forgotten what we did in all of our forgotten wars? What about all the diseases we conquered 50 years ago? What about the terrorists? Remember the World Trade Center etc., etc.? Is America not worth protecting? What about our laws governing illegal entry, and many other rules and regulations? Can certain people just ignore those?

There are also certain people in our country who want a wide open border, anyone can come and go. Of course you would no longer have a free and safe country. This is a slap in the face of all our young who fought and died in other countries. Just look at all the cemeteries in all these countries and ours, check the dates, most never had a chance to taste life, and we are letting them down!

I now implore other fellow veterans and fellow Americans to take this very seriously, and ask “What did I serve for and do I really care?”

Norwin H. Vogel, Korean War Veteran, Seguin

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