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Iowa Veterans Remember 'The Forgotten War'

Iowa Veterans Remember 'The Forgotten War'
Iowa Veterans Remember 'The Forgotten War'

JOHNSTON, Iowa -- History calls it "The Forgotten War." Two Korean War veterans have made it their mission to remember the past.

"Most people don`t realize how many casualties we had during the Korean War and the sacrifices we made," said 88-year-old Bob Gates.

The 19-year-old combat rookie fought in fox holes on the front line. Gates saw his share of losses on the battle field.

"I lost my good high school buddy in may of 1951 and that still sticks in my mind," he said.

A few months later, Jake Chapman would arrive as part of a wave of reinforcements in Korea.

"Before it ever stopped, we got out of the airplane and jumped into the truck because they really needed help," remembered Chapman.

Chapman served in an ammo outfit.

"It was kind of like going to a football game and sitting on the sidelines because you could see what was going on, but you didn't have to get your head blown off," described Chapman.

Both Marine Corps Sergeants completed their tours. They came home, raised families and worked civilian jobs. While others may have forgotten about the Korean War, their service and sacrifice is still fresh in their minds.

"South Korea is a prosperous nation now. It wouldn't have been if it had been taken over by the communists," said Gates.

A new exhibit at the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum at Camp Dodge is documenting the Korean War's place in history. The first helicopters and jets were used by the U.S. military in combat during the war. The uniforms, terrain and weapons are also displayed.

"I'd like people to know we're really not forgotten," said Gates.

The Korean War exhibit is open now. A grand opening at the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum is set for Saturday, Dec. 14.