Roamy here. Hopefully you, dear reader, are familiar with Honor Flight, which brought a number of WW2 veterans to DC to see their memorial. Now Valor Flight is doing the same for Korean War veterans. The Redstone Rocket newspaper has an excellent article on this mission and one of the veterans being honored.
Raymond Benfatti joined the Marines at 17. He mentions cold weather training at Pickel Meadow, the Marine Corps’ Mountain Warfare Training Center south of Lake Tahoe.
Despite the excellent training, nothing could prepare him for the subzero temperatures he would experience in his deployment from 1951-52…To this day Benfatti can remember the moonlight glistening off the snow, the frozen C-rations, how difficult it was to reach his unit as he slipped and slid on the snow and ice, and the rats he shared an underground bunker with for a year. Many mornings he awoke to find billboard size photos constructed and left for the Americans by the Chinese and North Koreans that said things like, “Go home,” “This is not your war,” and “Your wife is out with your best man.”
Benfatti also served two tours in Vietnam, was wounded by a RPG to the face (!), and received the Silver Star. He retired after 24 years of service.
Valor Flight is a nice way to honor Benfatti and others like him. Semper fi, sir.
Updated with my pics of the Korean War Memorial (click to embiggen).