By- Rancho High School AFJROTC Peter Shin
Korean War Veteran, Commander Chuck Johnson, answered a few questions that the Korean community wondered for quite a while now.
As a war state, Korea has grown to become the 11th largest economy in the world. What kind of impression do you have on Koreans?
“The Korean people know how to put it together and create that; things like that don’t happen overnight. They appreciated what we had done, and they took it and ran with it and that’s why you see this big city of Seoul now. They have generated a living style totally different. They didn’t just sit back and think that someone else is going to do it for them, they did it themselves, and it’s very pleasant to know that.”
After the war, North Korea continues to prepare for war and continue to develop nuclear weapons, threatening not only the U.S., but other nations as well. What do you think Korea and its allies should do?
“I think that things will take care of themselves. Everything is negotiable; everything doesn’t have to be war. They can negotiate things like this, it’s hard sometimes to get some of the people to the table, but we’re getting some relief. If the Olympics bring us all together, that’ll be amazing. I don’t get into politics, but if that is a stepping stone, and it works, thank god.”
Korea remains the only divided nation in the world; do you think the two Koreas can be unified?
“I think it’s reasonable to think that they will, simply because the general public might come together and unite as one, and not let one person continually tell us what to do. If that’s the case, I do think there is a possibility.”
Commander Johnson and his team have built the first Korean War veterans memorial at the Southern Nevada Veterans cemetery in Boulder City, where Korean War Veterans and their families can visit anytime. The Korean War Veterans Association Chapter 329 and Commander Chuck Johnson saw the need for a memorial, to give recognition to those who’ve been forgotten.