Korean government honors Washington's surviving Korean War vets

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by DREW MIKKELSEN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @Drewmikk

KING5.com

Posted on July 6, 2012 at 6:01 PM

The Korean War is often called "the forgotten war," but the government of South Korea wants to make sure no one forgets the sacrifices made by American soldiers six decades ago.

The country recently established an "Ambassador for Peace" certificate and medal to be hand-delivered to surviving Korean War veterans in the United States and other countries that sent troops to fight in the three-year conflict.

On Friday, Korea honored 47 veterans who live at the Washington Veterans Home in Port Orchard.

It's been nearly 60 years since Jim Duncan fought in Korea, but the memories have not faded.

"I didn't realize until I got out what I'd been through," said Duncan, now 80.

Young Wan Song, the consul general of the Republic of Korea Consulate in Seattle, delivered his nation's thanks in person on Friday.

"We still remember your gallantry and sacrifice," he said.

"I was tickled to death," said Duncan after receiving his certificate.

"I think of all the countries we've helped around the world," said Duncan, "Korea's the most thankful one."

As of 2010, there were an estimated 60,000 surviving Korean War veterans living in Washington state. The state Department of Veterans Affairs said the South Korean government is striving to recognize as many of the survivors as it can.

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