My Dad & the Korean War February, 26th, 2019
My Mom and Dad were married in 1951 when they were 18 &19
years old respectively in the Minneapolis suburb of Richfield,
Minnesota. They were very poor and lived in a converted garage.
Fort Snelling is near Richfield. The fort is one of the reasons the
suburb was built. My Dad had two high school friends who joined
the military reserves at the fort because even though they were
underage, the teen-agers could drink cheap beer by the pitcher at Ft.
Then came the Korean War and suddenly my Dad’s two friends
found themselves in freezing conditions in the Battle of the Chosin
Reservoir in North Korea. One of the boys was killed and the other
had his leg blown off.
“A high price to pay for cheap beer.” Was my Dad’s comment.
Mom soon became pregnant with me in 1951. The local draft board
decided not to send my Dad to Korea because of this. All of my
Dad’s friends who were 1A were drafted and sent to Korea and
some didn’t come home and some came home very damaged.
Exactly 20 years later I was subjected to the military draft lottery of
August 5th, 1971 to decide if I’d be sent to fight in Vietnam.
Fortunately I received a very high draft lottery number.
But I often think of what would have happened if my Dad had been
drafted and died in Korea. I would have been raised by my Mom. My
younger brother and sister would not exist.
The very successful Marion Laboratories of Kansas City would not
have had my Dad as its Chief Operating Officer and market cap of
Marion Labs might not have gone up by a factor of 64 in the 1980’s.
Wars are terrible things. It’s not just the visible damage, it’s the
invisible damage they cause that is so horrible.