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Brothers in arms

“That night I had the first watch. It was bitterly cold. Toward Hagaru-ri I heard the thump of artillery and saw flashes from exploding shells. I became very depressed. There were snow-covered hills all around and the wind bit into me. . . . When my watch was up I woke my buddy. ‘Anything happen?’ ‘Not yet.’ I climbed into my sleeping bag. For a while I stared at the stars. Around 3:00 a.m. I woke up. The moon had risen and lit up the valley. . . .  I thought about grade school, how we children had been asked to contribute a quarter to help a baby in a Christian mission in war-torn China. My mom had given me a dollar to contribute. I wondered if one of those babies who had grown up waited now in the gully across the valley to kill me.” – Private First Class Paul Martin, Reconnaissance Company, First Marine Division (quoted by Donald Knox in The Korean War: Pusan to Chosin – An Oral History)

Published inThe Korean War

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