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transparent.gif (42 bytes)November 2004

Dear George:

My Korean War buddy Ray Adams forwarded to me your recent e-mail and I was thrilled to hear about the Memorial in Bellingham. I had no idea it existed! It was of paticular interest since I, among others, was one of the "founding fathers" of Manassas Manor. Let me tell you of its genesis from my recollections.

The real prime mover of this project was 1st. Lt. Glen K. ("Ken") Edge of Spencer, Iowa. It was Ken who learned of the orphanage in Seoul that was apparently run by some free-loaders and hangers-on who were using the orphanage for free room and board. At least that was Ken's perception. He persuaded the 326th CO, Captain John Consolvo, to take on the project of "rescuing" the orphans and placing them in a run down one-story building not far from our compound. Consolvo agreed and the work of rehabbing the building began in earnest, as I recall, some time in late November or December.

1st. Lt. Jimmy Edsel was supervisor of construction and rounded up a crew of Korean laborers to do the grunt work. 1st. Lt. Ward Miller (a jack of all trades) wired the building for electricity which was supplied temporarily by one of our company generators. Showers were installed, a new floor was laid, broken windows repaired. By early January the new home was ready for occupancy.

On moving day a "fleet" of trucks and jeeps rolled into Seoul, loaded up the orphans and transported them to their new quarters. On arrival each one of them was given a shower and scrubbed clean (courtesy of some EM [enlisted men] godfathers), decked out in olive drab G.I. underwear, and given refreshments of cookies and hot chocolate. Unfortunately, the sweet chocolate was too rich for their systems and many of the kids heaved.

Soon the boxes of clothing began arriving from donors in the States and the transformation was complete. The rest of the story is pretty well documented thanks to your efforts, George.

Some footnotes:

Ken Edge and I had kept in touch for many years but I eventually lost track of him. My efforts to locate him via the Internet have been unsuccessful. I haven't tried the Social Security Death Index.

Ward Miller: Our ASAPAC members' roster lists him as living in Lagrangeville, NY (845-223-3827).

Ray Adams is the only one of my tent-mates who still corresponds.

Good to hear from you, George! On behalf of all of us Korean War vets, thank you for all you have done for our Korean orphans. May God bless you and all the children.

Chuck Stephen, Columbia, SC


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