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Priorities

“Much time was spent bullshitting. Talk was of home. We did not have any idea what [General] MacArthur was going to do next and we didn’t care. Food had top priority in our bull sessions. We smoked like fiends. Surprisingly, some of the conversations turned to sex. Up to then the only sexual references I’d heard were those obscenities hurled at the enemy. Everyone was too drained emotionally and physically to have a sex drive, much less talk about it. On the [38th] Parallel, with prospects of Japan, home, and safety, came the stories—stories of seductions, conquests, Japanese girlfriends, hometown sweethearts. While we waited to find out what would happen next, some wonderful events reminded us of home: sleeping in a bed with sheets, having a roof overhead, sitting on a stool, and defecating in a bathroom. I thought to myself, When I get home I’ll never bitch about another thing for the rest of my life. Whatever years my Creator has left for me I will consider bonus time. Never again will I ever be afraid.” Private First Class Leonard Korgie, G Company, 21st Infantry Regiment (quoted by Donald Knox in The Korean War: Pusan to Chosin – An Oral History)

Published inThe Korean War

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