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Tag Archive | "Marine Corps"

“Forgotten War” veterans honored 


A veteran is presented with a certificate of appreciation from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency during the Korean War Commemorative Ceremony, at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans last month. The event honored 69 residents of the home for their service during the Korean War.

A veteran is presented with a certificate of appreciation from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency during the Korean War Commemorative Ceremony, at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans last month. The event honored 69 residents of the home for their service during the Korean War.

Korean War Commemorative Ceremony recognizes service 

When Walter Towns enlisted in the Marine Corps as an 18-year-old fresh out of high school, he dreamt of someday having a family, a home, a car and a job. He served in Korea for only six months—from March to September 1951—but twice those dreams were put in jeopardy when Towns was wounded by the enemy.

Towns, the recipient of two Purple Hearts, was one of 69 residents of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans honored recently for their service during the Korean War.

“I don’t talk about my service much because most people forget about the Korean War,” Towns said. “But the bullets they shot in Korea were just as real as anywhere else. I was fortunate to serve a great country and take care of others while I was in Korea, and I was fortunate to get all the things I’d dreamt about once I got home.”

The Korean War Commemorative Ceremony recognized Korean War veterans living at GRHV and thanked them for their role in defending democracy and freedom in South Korea. During the ceremony, each resident received a certificate of appreciation for his service, while Towns and the 21 other residents who served in Korea were also awarded the Korean Ambassador for Peace medal by Jae-woong Lee, deputy consul general of the Korean Consulate General in Chicago.

Often referred to as the “Forgotten War,” the Korean War began less than a decade after World War II. Hostilities took place from June 27, 1950—two  days after North Korea invaded South

Korea—until July 27, 1953, when the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed. Following the armistice, many American troops remained in South Korea to help alleviate the uneasy peace.

“Whether they were stationed in Korea, Europe or in another theater, our Korean War veterans answered the call to serve the same as every other soldier,” said Jeff Barnes, director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. “More than 60 years ago, these men and women were asked to put their civilian lives on hold and protect the people of South Korea. Today, we thanked them for that service and let them know that no veteran should be forgotten.”

During the Korean War, 6.8 million American men and women served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Of those, 1,456 Michiganders lost their lives. Michigan is home to nearly 65,000 Korean War veterans.

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Hometown Hero


Cpl. Donald P. Bergman

Marine Corps Cpl. Donald P. Bergman is a member of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit returning from a deployment of the Pacific region, including the Philippines.
The Okinawa, Japan-based Marine expeditionary unit is made up of more than 2,000 Marines and sailors that conduct amphibious operations, as well as crisis response and contingency operations throughout the Pacific region.
Bergman is a field radio operator assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit at Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan. The corporal has served in the military for three years.
He is the son of Mark and Lisa Bergman of East 120th Avenue, Sand Lake.
Bergman graduated in 2007 from Creative Technologies Academy, Cedar Springs.

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Hometown Hero


Second Lt. Thomas H. Thornton III

Second Lt. Thomas H. Thornton III, United States Marine Corps, graduated from Officer Candidate School in December 2010. He is now in The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, for additional training. Graduation is slated for late spring 2011.

Thomas was a 2004 graduate of Cedar Springs High School and 2009 graduate of Lake Superior State University. Proud parents are Thomas and Sara Thornton from Sand Lake, Michigan.

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