COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Rogers Marshall, who enlisted at a time in our country when patriotism was running high.
“People didn’t ask you, ‘Are you going to go in the service,'” he said. “They say, ‘When are you gonna go in the service?'”
Sixteen months of intense training paid off the moment Marshall set foot in South Korea. In his very first mission, his unit was ambushed.
“Four or five GIs come out of the bush and says, ‘Get out of that truck. There’s an ambush waiting for you,'” Marshall said. “As I jump out of the truck, that’s when the windshield was shot out. It didn’t take long to realize this is not the beach on a Sunday afternoon. This is a real business.”
Both of his men were seriously injured, and as squad leader, Marshall wasn’t about to leave them behind.
“I’m not worried about anything else,” he said. “I’m worried about surviving and bringing these two guys back.”
Marshall’s actions in Korea earned him the respect of his fellow soldiers. However, upon returning home, he didn’t even qualify to become a member of his local VFW because the Korean War wasn’t designated a war by the U.S. government, but rather a police action.
“Many people refer to Korea as a ‘forgotten war,'” he said. “We who served there call it the ‘forgotten victory.'”