Korean War veterans share bond, memories at annual reunion

The annual Korean War Veterans Reunion at the American Legion earlier this summer drew more people than it ever has since Leroy Rogers organized it in 1999.

“It was the biggest since the first one,” said Rogers. “It was the best you could ever imagine. We had 107 to eat, and most of them were from out of the county. We had people from all around, and we had more new people than we had old-timers.”

Rogers said they cut out speakers this year and instead all the veterans were asked to stand and give their name, branch of service and where they served, any comments they wanted to say and their serial number. “Only two had forgotten their serial numbers,” he said. “It was a lot of fun.”

The annual event is always held on the last Saturday of July. “July 27 of 1953 is when the hostilities ended. The last Saturday night in July will always be as close as possible to that date,” Rogers explained.

Rogers said about 20 veterans tried but couldn’t make the event for a variety of reasons. “Some are crippled and some had conflicts, but we’re pleased as punch at the turnout,” he said.

The event organizer said that with so many Korean War veterans dying each year, the reunion is important. “You can’t explain it, the bond between us is closer than blood.”

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