After giving his parents the details of his Purple Heart, and how he made plans to have it shipped directly to them in Alabama, he goes through the logistical nightmare that he endured to simply receive medical treatment. One can only imagine the extra hardship endured because of his injuries and length of time that was most likely required to make this trek in 1950.
Following along with his own words (and with the attached map going left to right), my father was injured about ten miles north of Taegu, South Korea (which is now called Daegu). He was taken first to Taegu for a few hours and then traveled to Miryang for treatment. The next night, he we went to Pusan (now called Busan) for about three or four days. From there he was carried by boat to Fukuoka, Japan. He flew from there to Osaka and then traveled by bus to Kyoto, where he was when he wrote his parents the letter.
My son is 20 years old. My father was 19 years old when this occurred. We are blessed that our children are currently not called into The Draft, and I wonder often how my son -- who prefers not to raise his voice, much less start an argument or fight -- would handle the pressures of being a soldier fighting for his country. I'm sure after basic training, each person learns certain skills needed to endure these situations. But I also know that anyone who is aged 19 is still very young and my father was probably very scared after being wounded.
My brother and I just recently submitted our father's name to be engraved on the Honor Roll of Veterans at the Tuscaloosa Veteran's Memorial Park. We're proud of his service to our country, which allows me the freedom to sit at this computer, post photos, and write my thoughts for the world to see.
Rebecca Todd Minder is the Digital Media Editor for Alabama Heritage magazine. This is republished with permission from Rebecca's personal blogpost.