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July 19, 2013

Korean vet hopes war will finally end

Panmunjom settlement of 60 years ago did not end war


Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —

“We would look for the enemy and engage him,” Harvey recalled. “We would leave, get some good food, go back to the line and do the same thing over again. We learned to survive day-to-day.”

A jack of all trades, he would man a 50-caliber machine gun on the line, a bazooka rocket launcher to knock out tanks, fix his bayonet for close fighting and sight his carbine as a sniper. He guided supply trains of food and medicine to the outpost. 

Battles continued until there was a staelmate. It ended July 27.

The U.S. had 33,686 battle deaths in the “Korean conflict.” Harvey wonders why he wasn’t one of those casualties. He does suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. He was awarded nine ribbons and seven or eight medals.

When he returned home, Harvey worked in Niagara Falls and on the Niagara Power Project. He attended Kelly Business Institute and became a caregiver for his grandmother, grandfather and a disabled veteran. Never married, Harvey has lived on Johnson Road for 15 years. He took care of his mother, Harriet, until she died in 2006 at 92. His brother, Paul, is a World War II veteran. Paul lives a mile away in Newfane. His younger brother, Darrell, is a Vietnam Vet.

The Panmunjom agreement was reached on July 27, 1953. The agreement established a 4-kilometer wide demilitarized zone along the armistice line, effectively dividing Korea into two separate countries. 

”Hopefully, the war will be over before I die,” Harvey said. “Technically, we’re still at war with them.”

Harvey begins to think about the anniversary in June and can’t keep the memory away. “It never goes away. It never goes away,” the PTSD sufferer said on the eve of the battle at the Berlin Outpost.

He plans to go to the Seneca Niagara Casino today, play the slots and sip some wine, but it won’t take him away from his memories of 60 years ago.




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