Tag Archives: Korean War

Memorial Day … a salute to those who did not come home

??????????By Lynn R. Mitchell
[Editor’s note: This is an encore post from Memorial Day 2014. Sadly, one gentleman in the story — our Vietnam War tunnel rat neighbor — passed away two weeks after this was written. He is not forgotten (see Husband, neighbor, friend, Vietnam vet … saying goodbye and Passings: Honoring a Vietnam veteran).]

It’s Memorial Day 2014. Our Korean War veteran neighbor stopped by the house this morning looking for my Vietnam-era vet husband who was across the street visiting with our Vietnam veteran neighbor. Now the three of them are sitting out there talking … one can imagine the conversation between these friends, neighbors, and military survivors.

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Korean War vet survived behind enemy lines

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Tom LaBerge, Veterans Day, 11-11-2014

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Saturday’s Veterans Day parade in downtown Staunton, Va, saw many families lining the streets to wave American flags and cheer as floats passed by filled with local veterans. The community honored past and present military members including many who vividly remember the details of war.

One of those local veterans is a quiet, unassuming gentleman, slightly stooped with graying hair. Until last year, few people knew that he had suffered life-threatening injuries during the Korean War.

Now in his 70s, Tom LaBarge (pronounced La-BARGE) does not like to bring attention to himself. That was very evident as he reluctantly gave in to my persistent prodding to talk about his military service after a surprise presentation in 2009 of war-time medals that had been long overdue. Four of his seven grown children had flown from Minnesota to Virginia for the event, and I had been invited by his wife Millicent to join them.

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