Today it is an honor to have author Don Brown here on my blog. Not only is Don a prolific author, he is also a proud Veteran. And an aside, one of the first male guinea-pigs...er...readers of my novel, Yesterday's Tomorrow. Thankfully for me, he liked it!
Don has something special to share with us today regarding The Korean War, and I hope it will serve to enlighten and educate you the same as it did for me.
VETERANS DAY 2011
REMEMBER OUR KOREAN WAR VETS AND MIAS
By Don Brown
This Veterans Day, as we thankfully remember those who have served, and reflect upon the time-honored truth that “freedom isn’t free,” I ask that we remember, especially, our American Vets who served in Korea.
We are now approaching the sixtieth anniversary of the Korean War.
As you know Zondervan has just released my newest novel, Thunder in the Morning Calm, which is a story about Americans left behind in that war, and a grandson’s determination to find out what happened to his grandfather.
It had always bothered me that Korea is called such things as “The Forgotten War,” or a “UN Police Action.”
Such foolish banter deflects well-deserved recognition from our guys who served there, who, in liberating South Korea, achieved one of the greatest victories in American military history. So I purposed to write Thunder to honor those Americans who liberated South Korea from communist totalitarianism.
But as I began my research, I discovered some facts that are mind-blowing!
Let me cut to the chase.
We left Americans in North Korean prison camps at the end of the war, but denied their existence. For a period of sixty years, there have been numerous spotting of elderly Americans in North Korea! Although statistically it’s unlikely, it’s possible that some are still being held there.
Consider the following:
Over Four Times As Many Americans are
Missing in Korea then Vietnam
Over 8000 Americans were missing or unaccounted for at the end of the Korean War in 1953. Here’s what’s incredible about that number. This is over four times as many as the approximately 1600 missing from our wars in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia combined! Bear in mind that American involvement in the Vietnam War lasted over fifteen years, from 1959 – 1975.
So we have 8200 missing from Korea over a three-year period, versus 1600 missing from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos over a fifteen-year period.
What’s wrong with this picture? What happened to all our Korean MIAs?
When the war ended, North Korea denied that it had any live American or South Korean prisoners. The United States denied that any POWs were still there.
But for nearly sixty years, many reports have surfaced of sightings of both American and South Korean POWs still in the north.
Eisenhower Presidential Library
Admits Americans Left in North Korean Camps
In 1996, the Eisenhower Presidential Library dropped a bombshell when it released previously-classified documents revealing that in 1953, when the Korean War ended, the US Government was aware of at least 900 Americans still being held by North Korea, which contradicted the U.S. Government’s position in 1953 that there were no such Americans in captivity in the North. This, in and of itself, is a travesty and a disservice to the truth.
Clinton Administration Official Resigns
Over MIA issue in North Korea
Then, in 1998, more shock. Two South Korean POWs from the Korean War escaped North Korea, directly refuting the North’s lie that it had no American or South Korean prisoners in its custody. About that same time, a senior Clinton Administration official handling the Korean POW/MIA issue resigned because so many reports of American POWs still alive could not be refuted.
Unfortunately, neither the Clinton nor the Bush Administrations pursued the issue meaningfully, and neither has the Obama Administration.
Reports of Americans alive in the North have surfaced as recently as 2006.
There is now no doubt, as proven by documents released by the Eisenhower Presidential Library, that this country left Americans behind the lines in North Korea, and untruthfully denied that fact for many, many years.
There is also little question that at least some of those Americans lived for many years, forgotten and abandoned by their country.
Could Some Still Be Alive?
Is it possible that some may still be alive?
To put the timeline in perspective, in 1938, seventy-five years after the Battle of Gettysburg, some 8000 veterans of the Civil War were still alive!
By contrast, we have not yet reached the sixtieth anniversary of the signing of the Korean Armistice, which will occur in 2013.
Any surviving Americans still left there would probably be in their eighties. Perhaps it is unlikely that any are still alive, assuming the difficulty of surviving that long in harsher conditions, but certainly possible.
I’m passionate about the sacrifice of our Korean Vets, and the missing plight of our over 8000 American MIAs there.
It’s inexcusable that this country has forgotten them, and I wrote this novel, in part, hoping that someone would give some thought to the plight of missing Americans of Korea.
As you remember all our veterans on this Veterans Day of 2011, please join me in a special remembrance and prayer for our Korean Vets and our Americans missing in North Korea.
LCDR, JAGC, USNR
1984 - 1992
DON BROWN, a former U.S. Navy JAG Officer, is the author of Zondervan’s riveting NAVY JUSTICE SERIES, a dynamic storyline chronicling the life and adventures of JAG officer ZACK BREWER. In 2003, Don began writing TREASON, his first novel in the NAVY JUSTICE SERIES.
Don has graciously offered to giveaway a copy of his latest novel, Thunder In The Morning Calm. Leave a comment for Don for a chance to win!