Dog tag of Philip Ackley

Childhood Dog Tag Hunts

By Ned Forney | Feb 23, 2018

Country “A”: “We don’t study that.”  “No, our teachers never talk about it.” “I may have heard about it in a movie but not at school.” Country “B”: “Oh, yes, we learn about it starting in grade school.” “It’s taught as a great victory.” “We study it in detail.” Living in Korea for the past…

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John Nowell in 1983

Happy Birthday to the Soldier Who Never Left

By Ned Forney | Feb 17, 2018

Stepping off the bus in January 1965, US Army Private First Class John Nowell, a 22-year-old California native who’d been drafted the year before, immediately knew Seoul wasn’t the place for him. The impoverished city of 3.2 million, with few cars, an abundance of ox-pulled carts, spicy food he didn’t like, and people he couldn’t…

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Small Town, Big Heroes: South Charleston, West Virginia

By Ned Forney | Feb 13, 2018

I’ve never visited South Charleston, West Virginia, but after spending the past two days reading about the small city, located four miles west of the state capital and on the south bank (hence its name) of the Kanawha River, I feel like I’ve been there. I know it has six elementary schools and a middle and…

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War Memorial of Korea- Gallery of names of UN soldiers

What’s in a Name?

By Ned Forney | Feb 3, 2018

We all have one, and although we have no choice in deciding what it’ll be, it’s permanent, staying with us from cradle to grave. It becomes a defining feature of our human character, and long after we’re gone, a memorial to what we did or didn’t do during our time on earth. Whether it’s chiseled…

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Lt's Finley, Ford, and Chang at Camp Upshur

Always Faithful: Three Marines, Two Countries, One Mission

By Ned Forney | Jan 31, 2018

In early 1956, with Elvis songs flooding the airwaves, “I Love Lucy” beaming into living rooms, and Eisenhower preparing to run for a second term, three young men reported to Quantico, Virginia. They were beginning The Basic School, or TBS, a six-month training program designed to turn newly commissioned 2nd Lieutenants into knowledgeable and confident…

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Men standing in line to enlist after Pearl Harbor

During the Darkest Hours Shine the Brightest Stars

By Ned Forney | Jan 28, 2018

They lived for the moment. They struggled, loved, failed, succeeded, and carried with them the enduring sentiments of optimism and hope, uncertainty and fear. The days, months, and years of their lives passed quickly, and like many of us, they wondered where the time had gone. But despite their “ordinary” lives, they performed extraordinary acts…

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The program from the documentary film "Try to Remember"-Jan. 26, 2017

The Kim Sisters to K-Pop – Korean Music Makes Its Mark

By Ned Forney | Jan 24, 2018

Koreans love their music. From Pansori, a traditional Korean, operatic-style performance with a singer and drummer, to K-pop, the phenomenon that’s sweeping the world with its all-boy and girl bands, to the ever-popular karaoke, or “noraebang,” establishments where friends, usually after a night of drinking, sing in small rooms equipped with a sound system, video…

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Childhood picture of Col. Forney

The Marine I Never Knew

By Ned Forney | Jan 21, 2018

He’s one of the main reasons I’m in Korea, but he died when I was two, and our family rarely talked about him. He’s always been, in the words of Winston Churchill, “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” After spending over three years researching the man who’s made such an impact on…

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choco pie

Teamwork, Freedom, and Choco Pies

By Ned Forney | Jan 16, 2018

Remember the footage a few months ago of a North Korean soldier dashing across the border into South Korea, his fellow countrymen frantically chasing, yelling, and firing their guns at him? The video was seen by millions around the world. In the hours immediately following the dramatic escape, the 24-year-old, riddled with bullets and bleeding…

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Lee Tae-Won protesting at Chinese embassy

Sending Them to Die

By Ned Forney | Jan 12, 2018

At the age of 16, Lee Tae-won, convicted of helping a young woman escape from North Korea and deemed an enemy of the state, was sentenced to five years in a “re-education” camp or gulag. His father, an accomplice to his son’s treasonous behavior, was given the same sentence. As traitors of the Supreme Leader,…

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