They keep calling it the “Forgotten War,” or the “Korean Conflict,” but to my father, it was anything but. He was a teenager when he found himself in Korea, serving with the 67th Air Police Squadron.
The Korean War was fought from June 25, 1950 until July 27, 1953. It remains unresolved today, as South and North Korea continue to square off at the 38th parallel.
It was in Korea, while driving a Jeep, he struck a land mine – what is known today as an IED — that blew it up, causing it to tumble several times. Of the four men in the Jeep, two died, one instantly.
Though he received a Purple Heart, Dad never got over the feeling of responsibility for their deaths, even having night-terrors decades after the incident. But this isn’t why I’m sharing this tale.
My dad was a died-in-the-wool Democrat, a believer in a large government and a champion of the ‘little man,’ who, by his own words saw ‘how the Republican party was always taking from the little man and giving to the big companies.” He and I rarely saw eye-to-eye on anything political.
However, one day in 1981, I remember him pointing out how the Korean War was not a war but rather a ‘police action,’ which he didn’t like. While I knew this fact, I had never heard him speak so plainly of it before, so I was a bit taken aback.
He surprised me even further when he stated as if it were a fact: “And mark my words – by 2020 this nation will be a police-state and it’ll be everybody’s fault.”
Where did this come from, I don’t know and he wouldn’t say when I quizzed him on it. But isn’t it odd that we are but four-years from that date and our nations and local law enforcement agencies are so ‘militarized?”