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Korean War veterans saluted for service

Guest speaker, interactive displays planned for ceremony

Servicemembers train at then Fort Lewis prior to shipping out to serve in the Korean War. U.S. Army photo

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One of America's shortest and most deadly conflicts was the Korean War. It began June 25, 1950, when the U.S. entered the battle on South Korea's behalf. It officially ended in July 1953, after more than five million soldiers and civilians lost their lives.

Sandwiched between World War II and the Vietnam War, the Korean War is often referred to as "The Forgotten War." According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2013 there were about 2.1 million Korean War veterans.

Friday, Nov. 13, the 593rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command will remember and honor those veterans with a Korean War Veteran Salute ceremony. The event will begin at 10 a.m. at Watkins Field on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The public can access the ceremony via the JBLM DuPont Gate, exit 119 on I-5. No military credentials are required to enter the event.

"The goal of the event is to salute and honor the veterans of the Korean War and show that they're not forgotten," said Sgt. 1st Class Justin Puetz, spokesman for the 593rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command.

Puetz said gates should be open by 9 a.m. Parking and admission are free.

"Once you go through the gate, tell them you are there for the Korean War salute," Puetz explained. "From the parking lot, people will be bussed to Watkins Field."

The morning program's guest speaker will be retired Maj. Gen. John Hemphill, who served tours in both the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

Soldiers from several units, including the 593rd and 7th Infantry Division, will be on site to answer questions about the interactive displays.

"We will have medical, logistics and artillery displays, Howitzers, Strykers and various military vehicles," Puetz said.

The medical display will feature the forward surgical team, part of the Combat Support Hospital.

I Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Lanza will also be a guest at the event. The highest command at JBLM, I Corps was also involved in the Korean War.

For last year's Veterans Day event, the 593rd honored the dedication and service of Vietnam War veterans, of which there are approximately seven million living today. More than 4,500 veterans and their friends and family attended that event.

For more information, call the 593rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command at 253.967.0400.

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