Ed:Cetera — What Did You Do in the War, Dad?

BY ED ZAHNISER

 

Write and edit newspapers in the United States and the Republic of Korea, a.k.a. South Korea—which latter place locates this bit of reportage on a journalistic trip to outlying batteries, i.e., units, of the 38th Artillery Brigade, Air Defense, meaning missiles, mostly Hawks with “conventional warheads” but some Hercs—Hercules missiles, which must’ve carried “unconventional warheads” because everyone who worked on them had special, red-flagged personnel files. Most of these outlying batteries were set atop small mountains where, in winter and early spring, two and a half-ton military trucks episodically slid off the mountains on the steep, unstable soils while parked. From some of these mountain tops we could look across the Demilitarized Zone into North Korea. The newspaper of the 38th Arty was called The Gauntlet. Don J. Harris of Lompoc, CA was assistant editor. Sgt. Baek Sung Ho—a graduate student in electrical engineering now doing his mandatory military service—wrote and edited the two-page Korean-language insert that served the Korean soldiers attached to our brigade. This was late 1969. The Viet Nam “police conflict” was still raging—which tempered our complaining about our situation in Korea.

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