The Bradley County Veterans Affairs office is helping the country of South Korea show its appreciation to Korean War veterans by giving veterans a copy of “Korea Reborn: A Grateful Nation Honors War Veterans For 60 Years of Growth.”
The book, developed by the South Korean government in partnership with the United States, includes a letter of thanks from the president of the Republic of Korea, Park Guen-hye.
“It’s quite impressive. It’s a very nice book,” said Joe Davis of the Bradley County Veterans Affairs Office. “The Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs sent them to us to give to all our veterans. They (Veteran’s Affairs offices) have done this all over the nation.”
“It’s very nice for the Korean government to show their appreciation. They went to great expense I’m sure, to gather (the history) in a hardback,” department director Larry McDaris said.
The book includes photographs of South Korea during and after the war. Recent photos highlight how far the country has come since its early days of war recovery.
“It shows the rubble. It shows what it is today,” Davis said.
Davis said the book is available for free to any veteran who served between June 1950 and January 1955. He said veterans who qualify could stop by the veteran’s office to pick one up.
Those who have recently moved to Bradley County and would like a book should bring their DD-214 papers with them.
The number of Korean War veterans currently residing in Bradley County is unknown.
“It’s hard to keep up with all the new folks. Some of them who have been here a while like I have, I know,” Davis said.
The department started with 60 books and has 36 left to give out.
One of the photos that stood out to Davis was a satellite image of modern-day Korea at night. Lights of industries and cities in South Korea shine throughout its boundaries. North Korea has few lights and is mostly dark in the image.