Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Thoughts on the latest conflict in Korea November 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:38 PM
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WHEN I HEARD this morning of the North Korean attack on South Korea over contested waters, I thought instantly of my dad. He fought on the front lines during the Korean War and was wounded at Heartbreak Ridge.

My father, Elvern Kletscher, left, with two of his soldier-buddies in Korea.

He, like so many other Americans, gave of themselves in Korea and, still, 60 years later, the conflict between the north and the south remains. Were the Americans’ efforts six decades ago worth the personal losses given nothing was ever truly resolved?

I know what my dad sacrificed for his country. He gave up a certain sense of inner peace. He was forever haunted by the horrors of war. That affected many facets of his life and impacted his family too. Me. My mom. My siblings. Life was sometimes a struggle for him.

But my dad was lucky. He survived. He did not die, like his buddy Ray, who was blown apart the day before he was to leave Korea. My father saw his friend die. You never forget something like that. I heard the horrible, wrenching story many times.

All of these thoughts passed through my mind today. I miss my dad, who died in 2003. I wonder how different he may have been had he never been called upon to defend South Korea, to kill North Koreans, to see his friends die upon the mountains of Korea.

I wonder. And, yes, today, with the news of the escalating tension, my heart breaks.

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


2 Responses to “Thoughts on the latest conflict in Korea”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mary, Bob Collins. Bob Collins said: Minn. Prairie Roots is one of my favorite blogs. This woman can write. Today: A take on Korea. http://bit.ly/gZ73IL […]

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thank you, Bob. I am humbled and honored by your kind words. I have a passion for writing–for sharing everyday life, the stories of “ordinary” people and places, and, sometimes, my heartfelt emotions on an event or topic.

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