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LETTER: Books not available for all SD veterans

To the Editor:

The Daily Republic featured local members of the Korean War Veterans Association (KWVA) in articles on Nov. 22 and 23. This letter is to correct the omission of information by those of us interviewed.

The statement that our organization is receiving 240 copies of “Korea Reborn: A Grateful Nation” is enough to supply all veterans of this state who served in Korea a copy is unfortunately not correct.

The 9,331 S.D. veterans that were on the ground in Korea are eligible, not the total number of Korean Veterans from S.D. in the military at that time (26,000 veterans from 1950 to 1955).

I stated that all veterans of the period (26,000) were “entitled” to a copy, but this was grossly inaccurate to say the least. Even the 240 copies the KWVA received, thanks to Maynard and his wife Charlotte, are not enough.

We were representing the Korean Veterans of Eastern South Dakota and dropped the ball. We raised many expectations that cannot be fulfilled. We became aware of the dilemma when requests from all directions immediately came in.

The books will be awarded to those who attend our April 26 meetings. Those entitled by their services will receive a book.

It is a tribute to those returning who had the foresight to start a chapter in East River South Dakota, without this organization locally this opportunity most likely would not be happening. Young men and women answered the call to preserve freedoms we take for granted. Korea was a country that many knew nothing about. Belatedly, maybe, they are getting some recognition for what they accomplished. They knew it was war.

I appreciate the coverage The Daily Republic gave us and apologize for an unintended error.