Local Korean War vets concerned about escalating US-NK tensions

Escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea, put the forgotten war back in the spotlight.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - 64 years after the Korean War ended in a cease fire, veterans of that war are concerned of rising conflict between North Korea and the United States.

"I went into the army when I was 17, that was 1950," said Steve Coulson. "I was 19 when I was in Korea," he recalled.

Coulson says Korea is the forgotten war. Unlike his brother's who served in World War II, he didn't return home to a heroes welcome.

"I expected some kind of welcome like that, it just wasn't there. They just ignored us," he said.

That is starting to change. The state's only memorial dedicated to Korean War veterans opened in Mint Hill in 2014.

However, the escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea are putting the forgotten war back in the spotlight.

"I lost a jeep driver the second day I was there," Coulson said. "He was driving the jeep, I was in the right seat," he recalled. "It decapitated him right there, I grew up pretty fast then," Coulson said.

After 20 years of service in the Army, Coulson and his fellow veterans keep up with current affairs at the VFW. He says they can't help but feel a real threat of war.

"It's something I have to worry about because I have grandkids," he declared.

Right now it's a war of words. North Korea threatening to launch nuclear missiles at Guam, a U.S. territory where more than 7,000 service members are stationed.

They claim the missiles could reach the Pacific island in 14 minutes. President Trump promised fire and fury if the authoritarian regime makes good on its threats.

"Nobody, including North Korea, is going to be threatening us," he declared.

"The president handled it very well as far as I'm concerned," said Coulson.  "Somebody has to call his bluff," he asserted.

Coulson says the military should have been given the opportunity to finish the job in the 1950's and we might not be in this situation today. However, he says if tough talk turns to war, it could be catastrophic.

"It could be very, very devastating for both countries really," he said.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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