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National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day

The Korean War lasted for three years — from June June 25, 1950, to July 27, 1953. The service members of the war had to overcome unique risks and experiences that set them apart from previous generations of veterans. The National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day presents us with the opportunity to remember and honor the service of these men. After being colonized by Japan, the southern part of the Korean peninsula was liberated soon after World War II. With the support of the Soviet Union, communist North Korea invaded democratic South Korea in 1950. In the wake of these events, America deployed troops to support South Korea to keep the land that was truly theirs and protect the nation’s democratic interests. After three years, an armistice was signed and the two Koreas have since then remained divided. 

The fighting resulted in more than 36,000 casualties for America and more than 103,000 service members were wounded in action. The US Department of Veterans Affairs says that the extremely cold climates during the Chosin Reservoir Campaign in the winter of 1950 posed serious risks to those serving and accounted for more than 5000 American deaths. The temperatures dipped to 50 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill of -100 degrees Fahrenheit! This meant that the Korean War veterans are more likely to face health issues such as trauma to the nervous system, skin, and muscles, vascular conditions, foot-related injuries such as trench foot, frostbite scars, and skin cancer as compared to veterans of other wars. These veterans may have also been exposed to hazardous substances such as asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyl, and ionizing radiation during this long war. These substances are responsible for certain illnesses and cancers long after exposure. In fact, the nature of this exposure can be so serious that may be passed down to the next generations.