(The following story was shared by 90-year-old Jack Denham of Wadley to salute all veterans on Veteran's Day.)
I went into the army on July 8, 1952. My first stop was Fort Jackson, where I took 16 weeks of infantry basic. I got sent home for seven days and was then flown to Seattle, Wash. On the 23rd day of December, we loaded on a ship. When we left out, I can remember the Army Band was playing "So Long, It's Been Good to Know You."
We got out into the Pacific Ocean, and we hit a storm and we had to turn south and go directly into the storm because it was a small ship, just 31 feet long. We eventually made it to Japan and stayed there about a week. From there we went on to Korea. I remember they throwed a rope ladder off the side of the ship, and that's how we went ashore.
When I went up, they put me in the 7th Infantry Division. I met some boys from Indiana, one named Jack Digman. That night we was eating chow, and he was going on patrol. First, second and third platoon were the ones that pulled patrols, and 4th Platoon was heavy artillery. I remember he told me, "Jack, if we can make it through one month, they say we have a good chance of getting to go home." That night he got in a hand-to-hand fight and got a bayonet stuck in his head. I stayed in touch with his mother and daddy for several years, and then I just quit hearing from them. I kinda figured that eventually he died.
I was on top of Pork Chop Ridge during the ceasefire. I was in the 32nd Regiment, and we were trying to get to the top to relieve another regiment because they had got shot up so bad that they had to have some help. On July 27 when the ceasefire was set up, it was 10 in the morning. At 10:10 we started moving back. The only thing that really happened to me was my feet froze and I got a scar on one of my fingers where a piece of shrapnel hit me.