HELENA — This year marks the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War.
It was June 25th, 1950 that North Korea invaded South Korea, in an attempt to spread Communism.
It is also known as the forgotten war, for a few different reasons. Some historians say one factor was World War II and Vietnam War tend to be highlighted while the Korean War is falling into the shadows.
Mostly men fought on the front lines -- part of the silent generation -- born between 1928 and 1945.
Many born during the Great Depression, making them too young to join the military and come home as American heroes of World War II.
However, as Jim Heffernan, who is a United States Marine Corps veteran says during the 1950s there was pride in the American spirit, that he says is lacking in our culture today.
“Families talk about the pride, of being an American the talk about the past history of being in America, the different wars. The war of 1812, 1776. The important stuff, right here, to excoriate right here, that, hey, freedom is not free we will take care of our own...And, they come with one little item, America. And they don’t want people to change it. Then, all of a sudden you have communism, I have seen what Communism does in a war-torn country,” he said.
It was that patriotic spirit, that incited, Jim Crawford, who is a United States Army veteran, to enlist in the Army at 17-years-old, whose mother had to sign giving him permission to do so.
Crawford, who is almost 90-years-old, says he finds is unreal to think of a young fellow being sent to war at such a young age.
The total U.S causalities, during, the war were approximately 140,000 killed, missing in action, and wounded.
Of, those numbers 4,267 were United States Marines.
Some of those Marines patrolled along next to Heffernan, who worked with the police company marking the barrier between North and South Korea.
“To see some of your buddies, blown up in front of ya...on patrol or something else,” he said.
For, Crawford, he reflects on arriving in Korea, “We went in at that Inch'ŏn landing, over on the side of a ship, and as I told him before, I don’t ever recall having any training for that, so spooky...so, you know, going over the side of that landing craft and made our way to Seoul.”
He also adds that he remembers having to walk everywhere as a soldier.
During, the war, as time passed it was Christmas cards, that lightened the service member’s spirits. As well as teasing each other with pranks.