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Korean War Veterans Remembered at Seymour Johnson AFB

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SEYMOUR JOHNSON AFB — Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the Korean War. Officials atSeymour Johnson Air Force Baseare taking steps to make sure some of the airmen who fought in the war will be remembered for their actions.

In the first of several memorial events, the base officially opened Kimpo Park Friday. The athletic park honors airmen who fought in the war and is named after the air base in Korea.

Seymour Johnson AFB has a special connection to the war. The legendary 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing that destroyed half of the enemy's planes over Korea is now stationed there.

"The Korean War, really, is a landmark," says retired Master Sgt. Al Lukza, U.S. Air Force. "We drew the line in the sand to stop the communists from advancing any further than they had. And it needed to be done."

Veterans say they appreciate the recognition. Many believe their efforts to stop the spread of communism have gone unnoticed.

"Korea was called the 'forgotten' war. You have to ask yourselves, who forgot? Well, I assure you, the Russians, the Chinese and the North Korean didn't forget," says retired Tech. Sgt. Andrew Whipple, U.S. Air Force.

As people look back at 1950, veterans hope Americans will more fully appreciate the sacrifices they made.

5.7 million U.S. soldiers fought the spread of Communism in Korea; more than 33,000 of them died, 103,000 were wounded and 8,000 are still considered missing in action.The Springer Journal:The Forgotten War -- But Not Anymore

WRAL Online is featuring a monthly column focusing on military and veterans issues. WRAL military analyst, retired Lt. Gen. Robert Springer, U.S. Air Force, writes about the50th anniversary of the Korean Warand the 8,000 American soldiers still listed as missing in action.

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Brian Bowman, Reporter
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Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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