A little history on ‘The Forgotten War’

The Korean War, also known as (The Forgotten War): A little History. The Korean War – June 25 – July 27, 1953 – three years, one month, two days. Over 1,789,000 Americans served. American stats: more than 36,000 killed in action, more than 105,000 wounded, 7,926 MIA and 4,714 Prisoners Of War. There were 21 United Nation countries that were involved in the war. The negotiations at Panmunjom finally came to a conclusion in 1953 and a Armistice went into effect on July 27, 1953, with the UN halt just North of the 38th Parallel. Though fighting ended, no formal peace treaty was concluded. Instead, both sides agreed to the creation of a demilitarized zone along the front. Approximately 250 miles long and 2.5 miles wide, it remains one of the most heavily militarized borders in the world with both sides manning their respective defenses. Causalities in the fighting numbered around 778,000 for UN/South Korean forces, while North Korea and China suffered around 1.1 million to 1.5 million.

VA Expands Health Care Eligibility for Camp Lejeune Veterans: Last Monday, VA issued a final rule to expand VA health care eligibility for veterans affected by contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune. Starting this week, veterans who served at least 30 days at Camp Lejeune from August 1, 1953 through December 31, 1987, are eligible to receive no-cost health care for 15 medical conditions that have been linked to the contaminated water. Previously, only veterans who served at Camp Lejeune from January 1, 1957 were covered. Veterans who have been diagnosed with any of the 15 medical conditions may receive reimbursement for the cost of treatment if the care was provided on or after December 16, 2014, when the law expanding eligibility was signed. However, veterans must submit a request for reimbursement no later than July 18, 2018. For more information on benefits and services for Camp Lejeune veterans, go to www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/camp-lejeune.

This rule does not impact disability compensation benefits. VA is still in the process of finalizing a rule to grant Camp Lejeune veterans presumptive disability compensation for 8 of the 15 medical conditions found to be associated with exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. However, veterans who have been diagnosed with any of the 15 conditions should file a claim when possible to preserve the effective date. Be sure to contact a credited Service Officer for assistance filing a disability compensation claim.

VFW Life Member Receives Medal of Honor: President Obama presented the Medal of Honor on last Monday to Army Lt. Col. Charles Kettles in a ceremony at the White House. Lt. Col. Kettles is credited with saving some 44 lives on May 15, 1967, while serving as a UH-1 Huey helicopter commander. Kettles, of Ypsilanti, Mich., is a Life Member of the VFW. Early that morning, his platoon had dropped about 80 soldiers into a river valley, but the troops were ambushed and surrounded. Kettles and his fellow pilots made several trips back and forth, bringing in reinforcements and evacuating the wounded, but by afternoon, it was clear that the situation was hopeless. Only 44 troops remained, facing what Kettles estimated was a battalion-sized force. During the emergency extraction, Kettles learned eight men had been left behind. He immediately turned around and headed back to the landing zone. “The bottom line is those soldiers went home to their families,” said Kettles. “Their names aren’t carved in stone on a wall in D.C. No medal can compare with that.”

Till next week praying for all service members.


— Charles Castelluccio