korean veteran

RED HOT: Three badass Marines light their smokes off a 50 caliber machine gun barrel that got red hot while firing at Red troops in central Korea. They are, left to right: Cpl. Charles E. Fritchman of China Lake, California, Pfc. James E. Hickman of Fort Worth, Texas, and Sgt. Donald MacGillivray, Chicago, Illinois. Ashland, Ohio, Times-Gazette. Monday Evening, May 7, 1951.

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doniconi asking about seungri’s role in the made album

5 Must-See New Korean Films

1. “The Shameless” 2015

Director: Seung-uk Oh

The police are staking out Park Joon-gil for the murder of Hwang Choong-nam, and jaded detective Jung Jae-gon is being pressured to close the case, particularly by his former superior Moon Ki-beom, who lost his badge for corruption. Joon-gil was once the mob enforcer for Jay Investment, but had fallen out of favor when he embezzled and stole the heart of Kim Hye-kyung, the girlfriend of the company’s vice president Park Jong-ho. Jay Investment representative Min Young-ki approaches Jae-gon and offers him US$5,000 to ensure that Joon-gil is maimed during the arrest as payback. Jae-gon reluctantly agrees, but a botched arrest sends Joon-gil on the run, and Jae-gon decides the best way to find him again is by sticking with Hye-kyung, hoping she will lead him to the fugitive. Hye-kyung now works as a bar hostess to pay off her substantial debt to Jong-ho, and Jae-gon threatens his way into an undercover job as a floor manager at the nightclub she works at. Introducing himself as Joon-gil’s former cellmate Lee Young-joon, Jae-gon begins to spend time with the suspicious Hye-kyung and gradually wins her trust. But when Joon-gil returns asking Hye-kyung for money for a potential deal, Jae-gon’s newfound feelings of love and jealousy rise to the surface.


2. "Veteran” 2015

 Director: Seung-wan Ryoo

Jo Tae-Oh is a young man who was grown spoiled in a wealthy family. He keeps on committing pretty much every crime that one can think of. He tries to buy his way out of everything which almost always works but Detevtive Seo Do-Cheol won’t let that happen this time.


3. "The Beauty Inside” 2015

Director: Jong-Yeol Baek (Baik) 

Woo-jin wakes up in a different body everyday, regardless of age, gender and nationality. Sometimes he’s a man, a woman, old, young, or even a foreigner. He’s the same person on the inside, but on the outside he’s always someone new. Looking at a different face in the mirror every morning is hard for him to get used to. The only constant in his life is the girl he loves, Yi-soo, who knows his secret and loves him anyway. Each time he transforms, Woo-jin must figure out how to return to his own body and reunite with Yi-soo.


4. “Confession” 2014

Director: Do-yun Lee

Hyun-tae, In-chul and Min-soo have been best friends since childhood. Hyun-tae is a paramedic with a daughter in kindergarten, In-chul is a con man who works at an insurance company, and Min-soo is a small business owner. Hyun-tae’s mother, who owns an illegal gambling arcade, asks In-chul to stage a robbery/arson of her arcade to get an insurance settlement. But when it results in her accidental death, the friends have a falling out and their relationships with each other are forever changed.


5. “The Office” 2015

Director: Won-Chan Hong

Kim Byong-gook works as section chief in big bureau-building. He is believed to be a family man, but his colleagues don’t like him much. One day, Byong-gook slaughters his whole family and then disappears. Detective Jong-hoon is investigating the case and also asking Kim’s colleagues about possible clues, but it seems they can’t help him. Except Lee Mi-rye. The policeman recognizes that the young girl seems to know more about his suspect, but is hiding something from him. So Detective Jong-hoon is watching the CCTV-Tapes and see Byong-gook entering the building - but doesn’t come out again. Jong-hoon believes Kim must hide in the building, which makes the workers afraid about to work - and they are absolutely right!


Storylines via: IMDB.com

Sergeant Reckless, a chestnut mare who served in the U.S. military 63 years ago during the Korean War, has been honoured with the PDSA’s Dickin Medal. The award is the equivalent of the Victoria Cross for animals. Reckless lived to be 20 years old despite being wounded twice. She died in 1968.
Reckless was bred to be a racehorse. The Marine Corps bought her for $250 in October 1952. “Reckless” nickname because she carried ammo for the Recoilless Rifle, a gun so dangerous it was called the “reckless” rifle.

In the course of one five-day fight, 28 tons of bombs were dropped. The terrain of the battlefield was described by Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Geer as “smoking, death-pocked rubble.” In one day, Reckless made 51 trips during the Outpost Vegas battle in 1953. She carried more than 9,000 pounds of supplies and walked more than 35 miles in that one day alone.

Brian Hutton, the author, nominated the Mongolian mare for the award after he spent six years researching and writing her biography. According to Hutton, “she was loved by the Marines, they took care of her better than they took care of themselves, throwing their flak jackets over her when the incoming fire was heavy. Her relationship with the soldiers underscores the vital role of animals in war, not just for their prowess and strength in battle, but for the support and camaraderie they provide to their fellow troops. There is no knowing a number of lives she saved.” The ceremony was held at Victoria Embankment Gardens on Wednesday. Hidalgo, the horse, received the award on Reckless’ behalf.

Maria Dickin founded the PDSA animal charity and established the Dickin Medal in 1943 to highlight acts of bravery by animals in war. Most of the awards have gone to carrier pigeons.

Approximately 37,000 US and 1,000 British soldiers died in the Korean War. The war lasted from June 25, 1950, to July 27, 1953.
(Via War History Online)

The Godzilla fandom isn’t exactly well-known for being highly socially conscious, and as such, issues like race and sexuality are very rarely given breathing space in discussion with the wider fandom (outside Tumblr). But with all the talk last night on the sexuality of Naoko Shindo from Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, my mind ended up drifting to another - and perhaps, the most important - LGBTQIA hero of the Godzilla series:

Raymond Burr, star of Godzilla, King of the Monsters! and Godzilla 1985 (the “Americanised” versions of Godzilla and The Return of Godzilla, respectively), was gay, though hid it during his lifetime in order to protect his professional career in a much less accepting time. Burr entered into a relationship with Robert Benevides, a Korean war veteran and fellow actor, circa 1960. The couple stayed together until Burr’s death in 1993, after which Benevides was bequeathed Burr’s entire estate, including “all my jewellery, clothing, books, works of art… and other items of a personal nature”. 

Earlier in life, Burr married the actress Isabella Ward, but this ended after mere months (culminating in divorce in 1952). The marriage is generally considered to have been a professional move on Burr’s part.

Benevides and Burr owned and operated an orchid and vineyard together, which Benevides renamed Raymond Burr Vineyards after Burr’s death. This isn’t something I see discussed often at all, as the wider Godzilla fanbase at large has little-to-no interest in the LGBT+ issues of the series, and this seems like something people would be happy to ignore or outright deny.

Like I said, I don’t see this talked about often, and it definitely seems like something people would like to know about.

did you know that there was a Korean veteran named Easurk Emsen Charr who had citizenship after fighting in WWI (he was drafted), but had his citizenship revoked on the grounds that he was a “mongol” and citizenship at the time (1921) was restricted to “caucasians”?

and then, shortly afterwards, an Indian WWI veteran named Bhgat Singh Thind, who was technically a caucasian (as the term refers to the Caucasus), had his citizenship sued away from him by the US (US v. Bhgat Singh Thind, 1923).  At this point in time, the courts decided that it wasn’t actually “Caucasians” they wanted, they actually just wanted white folk, referring to those of European descent (most likely of Western European descent)

This is an important specification to make because the Ozawa decision (1922) decided that Takao Ozawa, who claimed he was white in skin tone (and therefore a “free white man”), was eligible for naturalized citizenship.  While the courts liked who he was (deeply American, educated, etc), they claimed that, on a scientific basis, he was a Mongol, and therefore not qualified for citizenship.  This carried over from the Charr decision (and from various decisions about the Chinese citizenship blockers).  However, the results did not carry over to the Thind decision, and in the Thind decision, the courts made it clear that they cared not about these “scientific” markers of race, but rather on some serious racial preferences for Western Europeans.

Otherwise known as simply, “racism.”

sources: (Takaki, Ronald T. Strangers from a different shore: a history of Asian Americans. Boston: Little, Brown, 1998.)

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U.S. Marine machine gunner Corporal Leonard Hayworth, 22 years old, weeps upon realizing that he and his men, who have taken heavy casualties, are out of ammunition. “His eyes swung searchingly along the edge of the ridge, then up into the rainy sky. Slow, heavy tears started down across his face.”

When it seemed that … machine-gunner Cpl Hayworth was shattered beyond all hope, a black-jawed, smiling old veteran crawled over … Sitting shoulder to shoulder with the younger man, he calmly told him how they were still holding the line … The grimy old veteran talked a feeble smile back upon the face of the corporal. Tears still streaked his face up under his helmet where the rain could not wash them away, but the Old Marine seemed not to notice. Korea, August 1950.“ (This Is War!)

Weeks after taking this picture, while still in Korea, David Douglas Duncan handed Hayworth a copy of the September 18, 1950, issue of LIFE in which the above photo appeared. “Hayworth looked at this huge picture of himself, in the biggest photo magazine in the world,” Duncan recalls. “He didn’t say anything. He just smiled. He looked like Errol Flynn, about 6-foot-3, a tall, handsome Marine. And no one’s saying anything, looking at this picture of him, crying, and an old sergeant behind him says, ‘We all cry sometimes.’ The next day, September 25th – the three-month anniversary of the start of the war – a sniper shot Corporal Hayworth between the eyes.”
Photo: David Douglas Duncan/LIFE

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Women from the first all-female honor flight in the United Sates watch a Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, Sept. 22, 2015, in Arlington, Va. There were 75 female veterans from World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War in attendance, as well as 75 escorts, who were also female veterans or active-duty military.

(U.S. Army photo by Rachel Larue/released)


We’re #thankful that our work gives us opportunities to help our fellow citizens! 

 John Joseph Scala is an 88-year-old Korean War veteran. He contacted the National Archives at St. Louis for help in getting medals he earned while in service. Our staff was able to verify the awards and order replacements to be issued by the Army. Mr. Scala sent us this photo of himself proudly wearing his medals, and we are honored to have helped him.

Today, all across the land of the free, we honor the men and women who have served in our nation’s armed forces. Memorials like the Korean War Veterans Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC seen here, ensure that we will never forget their sacrifice. Thank you, veterans. Photo courtesy of Nathan Jones. 

Pictured: (Esther) Juanita Jackson Smart and Richard Smart with daughter Deborah Smart. My mother.

Korean War Vet and Teacher, Richard, and English Teacher, Juanita, left a segregated South Carolina when my mother was about 6 in search of better opportunities for their two children and for themselves. They moved to Detroit, Michigan where they both worked in the school system, influencing the lives of hundreds of kids over the course of their careers. They both studied every summer at various universities to complete their Master’s degrees. As fervent believers in education, they insisted on sending my mother to the best schools in town. As a result, my mother integrated two elementary schools in Detroit and was the only black child in each school until her younger brother, Richard Smart III, joined her.

My mother, a copious reader, inhaled thousands of words a week. She won the school spelling bee. Her prize, a shiny new encyclopedia was stolen out of her locker. The school authorities accused her own brother of taking it because “none of the other children in the school would ever steal.”

The encyclopedia was never found.

Unphased by school nonsense, mother continued to read books and get A’s. She graduated from Cass Technical High School with a focus on the sciences. The following year she attended The University of Michigan where she then became the only black student in her organic chemistry classes. She studied hard and made up songs to remember anatomy.

She took Calculus as an elective because “it was fun.”

She studied some more.

Riding her bike down South Division street, she stopped at her mailbox during her Senior Year to find a letter from the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. She was accepted to medical school. My mother continued making up songs and studying all the way through medical school, continuing to be unphased by her position as one of the only students of color.

She became Dr. Deborah Y. Smart in 1979. Her younger brother went on to graduate from The University of Michigan and The Wayne State University Law School.

Dr. Smart dated and intimidated several men who were not accustomed to a well-read black woman doctor for a girlfriend. She decided she would likely adopt a child and live her life happily as a mother and a full-time physician who loved to read.

She met my father at her best friend’s wedding. He was nice. He often brought food to the hospital where she worked when she was on 24-hour call. Eventually she agreed to marry him.

Richard and Juanita Smart continue to live in Michigan and are active in several national and city organizations. They are still fervent believers in the power of education and support and encourage their grandchildren to do and be their best.

They travel to South Carolina at least once a year, making sure to visit the family cemetery where they say: “If you could only see what we did, Momma and Daddy. If only you were here.”

Happy Black History Month.

The Reality of Cancer and Healthcare

It wasn’t the cancer that took my dad’s life.

Before I elaborate on this, I’d like to first honor the man who fought a difficult four-month battle.

Myung Kim was born on February 7th, 1956 into a low-income family of four sons (including him) and a daughter. Without bias, he was an extremely attractive and charismatic man in his youth, carrying not only looks but also a versatile musical talent and an all-around athletic skill set. He met my mom in high school but they did not date until the late 70’s, sending love letters and pictures of themselves to each other. My mom flew to the United States in the early 80’s and my dad, as committed a lover as he was, joined her in Los Angeles and they finally wed on April 30th, 1983. Fast-forward three kids later, and Myung and his wife established a beautiful family (this usually would not be about me but I’ll include myself for my dad’s sake) that never really broke apart and looked out for each other through the best and worst of times. He loved collecting records, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Blue Velvet, Smokey Robinson, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, the Bee Gees, zombie flicks, jokes that don’t make sense, embarrassing dance moves, dogs, Nana Mouskouri, Leonard Cohen, the Commodores, Magic Johnson, Eric Clapton, playing Dust in the Wind on guitar, practicing at the golf range alone, and being the best example he could to every single person on sight. To his last day, Myung developed an unbelievable resumé: choir conductor, songwriter, vocalist, music instructor, saxophone/guitar/flute extraordinaire, golf/badminton expert, effortlessly masterful cook, realtor, business owner, actor, bodyguard, model, Korean navy veteran (he was a bugle boy, don’t worry), faithful husband, unconditionally loving father, and proud servant of God. My father’s legacy was a lot to take in once I sat and deeply thought about it, and it is quite unreal to admit that I’m this man’s son, but I’m more than proud to boast that I had a father who demonstrated his love through so many ways.

My father went in for a blood test in early 2015 after signs of anxiety and depression following a traumatic car accident, and he noticed his platelet and white blood cell counts were low. His doctor assured him it was only a result of his past experiences and that the platelet and WBC counts should be back to normal eventually. Up to April 2016, his personality and reactions to surroundings changed. He couldn’t be in crowded places anymore, he smiled much less, he was less satisfied by food and company, and felt more frequently exhausted. His second blood test revealed extremely low platelet and WBC counts, and his doctor never reached a conclusion and prescribed him with what he thought would at least slow down the decreasing rate. Towards the end of the summer, my dad discovered a tumor near his pelvis and then did the doctor take a deeper look and properly diagnose my father with stage III follicular lymphoma and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS, essentially pre-leukemia), two diseases that have been spreading since as early as my dad’s first blood test.

An ideal solution would have my dad go immediately into chemotherapy and surgical removal of the tumor, but due to his low platelet count, he was ineligible for either procedure. He would instead take multiple trips to the ER in a downtown hospital to get infusions of specialized platelets, white blood cells, and hemoglobin, which should have been able to keep his immune system afloat while receiving chemotherapy. In the meantime, my family had been reaching out to a much more experienced doctor in this realm of cancer, but because the hospital that doctor was stationed at did not accept our insurance coverage, we were left to wait until the first of January 2017 to switch insurance plans and send our father on his way to salvation. We were all hopeful and began our waiting game until the big day. But suddenly, everything went wrong.

For the sake of working professionals and confidentiality, I will keep all names anonymous.

I’m not sure where to begin, to be honest, so I will write the most I can remember onto this list:

  • My dad was taken to the ER and only required his routine transfusions which only should have taken a few hours, but even after reading the doctor’s note, the ER doctor ordered radiology as a “precaution,” which was avoidable and resulted in an additional 2 hours of waiting on average.
  • The nurses who put the IV’s into my dad’s arms were surprisingly inexperienced to the point where I’d compare them to freshman college students. They couldn’t find his blood lines and had to start over multiple times, causing my dad to bleed more than he should have, and they left to find another person who knew how to put the IV’s in better. (More on this later)
  • The ER doctor completely disregarded my dad’s doctor’s note for a specialized platelet order and gave my dad a general platelet infusion, resulting in a severe fever and further delay on his required infusions.
  • Hospital food is usually horrible, I know, but I really don’t know if you consider hot water with a few chopped green onions in it “soup.”
  • The infection doctors have no idea what they’re talking about and are completely useless. I’ll just leave it at that.
  • My dad asked for a discharge approval because of an important meeting the next day, but one infection doctor went on a tangent about how one cancer patient asked for a discharge approval and died a few hours later. And he laughed.

On top of all of these issues, I would like to talk about one man who (although I am really trying to avoid personal opinion) is honestly the living spawn of Satan. My dad had an assigned admitting doctor who is the leading example of what the medical field should not be. This man walks into the room for 30 seconds every 24 hours and has the final say on my dad’s discharge approval based on what he hears from his stethoscope. He has absolutely no personality, is completely apathetic, and fails to hide from his expression that he is only checking in to collect his paycheck. I read a Yelp review on this doctor and one of the one-star reviews (there was no higher review) said that after one patient had passed away, the patient’s daughter contacted the doctor, who claims to not recognize the name of the patient and blames the fact that he deals with so many patients in one day. More on this doctor shortly…

At home, my mom discovered what looked like a rotting bullet wound on my dad’s ass with pus oozing from it, and my dad’s arms were red and swollen. We soon discovered that the wound was a resulting bed sore from the nurses failing to turn my dad on his bed since he was left waiting in the same position for as long as three consecutive days (he couldn’t turn or leave his bed from either the IV’s or the pain), and the swollen arms are from the inexperienced nurses who ruined my dad’s arms multiple times. Eventually, his ability to walk and move his arms started fading away and the light at the end of the tunnel began to gradually dim. On Christmas morning, I woke up hoping for just one good day, but instead I found myself taking my dad back to the hospital, but this time not just to the ER.

In the waiting room, we were told that my dad had to spend some time in the ICU because he was in critical condition. His arms were too swollen to take any infusions, so he had to have a PICC line catheter surgically inserted into his body. During this time, my mom was approached by both my dad’s cancer doctor and the Satan doctor, who happened to be lounging on a chair with his legs crossed while this happened, and the cancer doctor told her that my dad’s organs were failing to recognize any of the infusions and that she should “be prepared.” I’ve never felt so much weight on my chest until this moment. The catheter insertion was successful and we were able to see my dad again but he stopped talking.

My dad was unrecognizable at this point and all he could do was heavily breathe with his eyes half-open. His heart rate was as high as 160 and his blood pressure was as low as 40. I’m having a hard time writing from this point on but we spent every possible second reminiscing on how wonderful a father he was. We played videos of our dogs barking, my dad singing in choir, us laughing, etc, and we’d talk about things to do once my dad is back to normal, like going boat fishing in Hawaii, golfing 18-hole, having a feast, and seeing my sisters have children in the future. When I was alone with him, I told him how he’s my hero and how sorry I am for treating him like dirt the last four years when he did all in his power to spend time with me. He really was my hero and I failed to recognize how selfless and giving of a father he was to me. On December 30th, 2016, Myung Kim, choir conductor, songwriter, vocalist, music instructor, saxophone/guitar/flute extraordinaire, golf/badminton expert, effortlessly masterful cook, realtor, business owner, actor, bodyguard, model, Korean navy veteran, faithful husband, unconditionally loving father, and proud servant of God passed away.

It wasn’t the cancer that took his life. It was the infection from the bed sore.

My sisters know in more detail the flaws of every single person who cared for my father, and maybe I should write more, but my everything is still restless from having seen the man who I forever love descend six feet underground earlier today. I thought I was strong enough. But I saw him in his Corona hat signed by Smokey Robinson and Uniqlo winter jacket waving one last goodbye from his grave, and that’s when I remembered everything. The hide-and-seek games, the breakfast he got up at 6:00am to make for me every day from kindergarten to 12th grade, him ending every phone call with “I love you,” no matter what the phone call was about, and all other memories that stabbed me simultaneously made me crumble and scream at the top of my lungs. The medical system failed my dad, and I’m really not sure how stable I can be the rest of my life without him as my foundation.

So, what should you know? This is also a lot to write so I’ll make a list again:

  • A life without compassion is no life at all. People in the medical field who lack compassion and only study their lives away just to get fat paychecks are very likely to put someone’s life in danger, and it’s ironic.
  • Get the best damn medical insurance coverage you can afford. I understand that it’s extremely difficult, especially with Führer Trump’s upcoming presidency, but you want the best hospital with the best staff to the point where the ensuing debt is worth it.
  • Check the physical conditions of EVERY part of the body of your loved one being treated. Movement is life, and blood must circulate everywhere.
  • Read reviews of doctors treating your loved ones before meeting them because some of them will fuck you over.
  • Spend as much time as possible with your loved ones. This is cliché and you hear it all the time, but this is coming from a heartbroken man whose heart won’t fix itself for a long time. I thought my dad would live to 100 and he’d see all my life accomplishments, but I lose him 40 years sooner in a time where our dynamic has been so shaken up from me leaving home for college. Hug whoever you can, even for no reason. Say “I love you” for no reason. Make sure whoever you spend time with recognizes that they have done a job well done being in your company and sacrificing whatever they could for you.

I skipped a lot of details writing this, but I’m too broken to think at this point. I miss him. God’s with him, and hopefully I join them soon, but I have big shoes to fill and I have no choice but to swallow my feelings and look after my mom. My last wish for any of you is to experience a loved one lose a battle to cancer not from the cancer itself but something that could have easily been avoided. Maybe my dad could have lived to 100. Life just doesn’t work like that, does it?

Veteran’s Day

                                               November 11, 2016

Veterans Day is an official United States public holiday, observed annually on November 11th, honoring all military veterans – that is, all who served in the United States Armed Forces….from World War I, which ended 98 years ago, on November 11, 1918….through nearly a century of history and conflict, to today.

(Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day. Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day, observed at the end of May each year, honors those who died while in military service.)

The iconic quotation by G. K. Chesterton encapsulates the attitude of those who have served, and serve today:

   The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him,
                          but because he loves what is behind him.

An enduring tradition: Joseph Ambrose, then, an 86-year-old World War I veteran, attends the dedication day parade for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1982. He is holding the flag that covered the casket of his son, who was killed in the Korean War.

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A couple weeks ago I had the honor & privilege of meeting a Marine Korean War Corsair pilot. I was THRILLED because this was a gentleman (Maj Antonio Granados) who took a ton of pics and vid while flying back in the 50s and I was like “OH MY GOSH THAT IS ME. I DO THAT NOW. SEE I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE!” And my fellow pilots were like “lol, yep, you two are a pair.”

So I went up and introduced myself after his presentation, wondering how he would react to me, female pilot (since we weren’t allowed to fly in the Marine Corps until the late 90s). Other than a slight widening of his eyes to show his surprise once I introduced myself, he was incredibly cordial during our conversation and accommodating when I asked if I could take a pic with him. And of course I took a selfie - which turned out to be his first selfie ever! His handler took a pic of me taking a selfie of us, and below is the email conversation that followed (she sent it to me)

“One last favor: you sent me a picture of a young pilot who took a “selfie” of herself and me. What is her rank and what does she fly? That photo is a keeper since I’ve never seen a pilot as glamorous as she is, much less than being photographed with her. That picture would have given me unlimited bragging rights at the bar….70 years ago”

She sent him the pic & he responded “They just don’t make ‘em like that anymore!”

Ego boost X 1,000,000

Best part is, while I am the “old lady” of my community, there are a ton of youngsters coming up the ranks and he’s going to see more and more of us. :)