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Forgotten War Vets To Be Honored In Statewide Ceremony

SD Department of Veterans Affairs

Veterans of what’s often called the forgotten war are being honored in Pierre in January.   Leaders of the country of South Korea are issuing medals to American veterans who served in the Korean War. In South Dakota hundreds of veterans across the state will receive medals simultaneously in conjunction with a ceremony in the capitol rotunda.

The country of South Korea wants to change the notion that the Korean War is a forgotten conflict.   Larry Zimmerman is the state’s Secretary of Veterans Affairs.  He says dignitaries with the South Koran government are traveling to South Dakota for the January 12th Ambassadors Korean Peace Medal ceremony.
“Gives credence to the veteran that they know people do care and do remember them. And you know we're dealing with an era that from the Korean War are all 80 plus, probably closer to 85 and so you know for them, it's a great deal,” says Zimmerman.   
Zimmerman says about 200 veterans plan to be at the capitol, while about 300 more who can’t make the trip will tune-in to a live broadcast for simultaneous ceremonies in other parts of the state.  
“Service organizations across the state gathering these other Korean War veterans that won't be able to make the rotunda and having events.  And, I hope to have people standing by nursing home beds in hospital beds if we need to or in the homes of these Korean War veterans presenting the metals simultaneously,” says Zimmerman.
Zimmerman says the outreach effort to Korean War vets took place through county and tribal service officers.   He believes there are more Korean War veterans in the state. He says those being honored in the ceremony following the Governor’s State of the State address  on January 12th were located and documented in time to order the medals.