Traverse City Record-Eagle

Columns

December 3, 2012

Lifelines: War affects us all

'This war doesn't affect me. I don't feel touched by it at all."

Those were the honest words of an eight-grade girl in a journalism class. I was visiting a middle school, and the students were interviewing me for their school newspaper.

At the time I was writing a series of Vietnam poems, and was telling the kids about that war, and its effects. I knew very little about Korea. That's when the topic shifted to Afghanistan, and the student made her comment.

Both veterans below grew up in working class families with a history of serving their country. Their family members couldn't afford college.

The more I read and listen, the more I realize Korea and Vietnam were two halves of the same war. Both boys below went off full of patriotism, and ended up just fighting for survival, so they could come home.

At home they couldn't talk about it, or people wouldn't listen. There's danger living with such pain. This Christmas don't forget our people serving overseas, and the ones who have come home.

Maurice (Fuzzy) Guy

Korean Christmas 1951

On Christmas Eve

the Chinese set up loud speakers

and played Christmas music

to make us homesick.

They were songs from home

like "Silent Night Holy Night."

There was a gal

disc jockey on the radio.

Her name was Seoul City Sue,

and later Pyongyang Sally.

She'd say one of our soldier's names

like, "This song is for Private Maurice Guy,

Enjoy"¦it's the last song

you're ever going to hear."

How did they get our names?

Some of our soldiers found the wire

to the speakers

and cut it.

Other guys hollered,

"Hey, come on!

We want to hear more

of that good music!"

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