Korean War vet reflects on 60th Anniversary of armistice

By Ava Wilhite

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) Ralph Holliday is a retired contractor for a phone company. But before he started his career, he volunteered to serve his country.

"I thought I'd flunked the exam because they sent me back home, then I get another notice to go back to Columbia. I said well I guess they want to check me again. Uh oh. The marched us over to the clearance area and you raised your hand and they swore you in," said Holliday.

Once he enlisted in the U.S. Army,{} Holliday, then 20-years-old, served in Korea From 1953-1955. Holliday said when he went out to Korea, most of the fighting was over.

But he said never forgets basic training in Virginia, being shipped out from Seattle, going to Washington and arriving on the shores of Korea.

"They put us off in waste deep. Water there is ice and snow off the shore. We got on the back of the old army truck," he said.{}{}

Holliday said some memories aren't as clear as others. With some memories, he said he closes his eyes to see them.

"My military career - I really enjoyed," he said. "All they had to do was point and you would do it. You were young and dumb and you want to please the adults. That's all there is to it. You want too please your superiors - it was wonderful," said Holliday.

Holliday's military journey did not go without injury. Once while checking on diesel fuel used to heat the tent, an explosion burned his face.

"They asked me, if I wrote a letter home and told them that I got injured over there -no! I was not going to do that. They were worried enough," he said.{}

Holliday said he understood what the Korean War was about before he volunteered.

"It's the 'Forgotten War.' It wasn't a war, it was a police action but they use big sticks over there," he said. "I don't regret it one bit."{}