|Vets to share experiences of Korea|
|Written by CSI media|
|Friday, 04 November 2011 15:03|
Wisconsin veteran Stuart Sizemore, left, poses with a fellow veteran during a 2010 visit to Korea in observance of the 60th anniversary of the Korean War. He will present his account of the war Nov. 9 at the Lake Geneva Public Library.
On Nov. 9, Stewart Sizemore will present his account of the Korean War and his return visit 60 years later
(Read the full story in the e-edition HERE.)
LAKE GENEVA — In honor of Veteran’s Day (Nov 11), Korean War veteran Stuart Sizemore will present a first person account: “Not a Forgotten War: My Experiences in Korea” Nov. 9 at the Lake Geneva Public Library.
Sizemore was invited to Korea in 2010 to be honored with other veterans by the South Korean government on the 60th anniversary of the war. Sizemore will present his first-person account of the Korean War and his return to democratic South Korea, where he saw first-hand what he fought to accomplish.
At the age of 17, Sizemore was one of the 1,985 men who were part the first battalion to enter the Korean War. It was just 44 days into battle and Sizemore was one of the 185 men of the same battalion who remained alive.
“They call the Korean War ‘The Forgotten War,’ but it’s not forgotten by me,” says Sizemore. “I want to educate and enlighten individuals about what the Korean War was like.”
During the 60th anniversary of the war, veterans like Sizemore were invited to be guests of the South Korean government and to participate in ceremonies for an opportunity to reconnect with the Korean people. Veterans also visited the demilitarized zone and South Korean cultural sites.
The South Korean ministry of patriots and veterans affairs paid half of the airfare for veterans and the costs of lodging, meals, tours, and entertainment and 30 percent of the airfare and all other costs for veterans’ spouses or companions.
“Sixty years later, the South Koreans treated us so well. It was a wonderful feeling. The American vet is top notch in their eyes. They realize the price of freedom,” Sizemore said.
Returning for the first time since the war, Sizemore was amazed at the transformation of war-devastated Korea.
“It was a thriving metropolis I didn’t recognize. We saw what we fought for.”
Raised as an orphan in rural Appalachia, W.Va., Sizemore learned survival skills early in his life. When presented with the option of mining coal or running moonshine after graduating from a two-room school house, he decided to ride freight trains and live in the hobo jungle.
At age 16, he joined the army. Sizemore served for 15 months in the Korean War and survived the battle for Taejon. Later, he went on to serve in the Vietnam War for one year.
Sizemore remembers the Korean War being different from the Vietnam War, saying, “Korea was more bloody and costly.”
In an interview with Wisconsin Public Television, Sizemore said, “We were buying time with blood. That is what it amounted to.”
Sizemore’s experiences in the Korean War have been recorded in several history books including “South to the Naktong,” “North to the Yalu” by Roy E. Appleman and “Wisconsin Korean War Stories: Veterans Tell Their Stories from the Forgotten War” by Sarah Larsen and Jennifer M. Miller.
Wisconsin Public Television interviewd Sizemore for a documentary series “Wisconsin Korean War Stories.” In conjunction with its documentary series, WPT created a traveling photo exhibit of Wisconsin Korean War veterans.
Sizemore lives in Walworth County with his wife, continues to work in the tree-trimming business, and enjoys traveling in his Winnebago.
Everyone is welcome to attend this free program. Call the library at (262) 249-5299.
|Last Updated on Friday, 04 November 2011 15:17|