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Pacific Stars and Stripes, Date Unknown

Lad's Woes Near End

PUSAN, May 22 (UP)-A scared little Korean boy, clutching a suitcase and a ticket, walks through the glistening door of a huge plane and into a new life tonight.

He will limp a little, but what can you expect of a lad who has to walk on artificial feet?

THE DOOR THAT opened for Son Yong Cho, 11, culminates a series of events that started in 1950, when the lad lost his parents in the Communist invasion of Seoul.

Through the intercession of various Americans, both here and in the United States, Son will be on his way to live at Boys Town, Neb., the first Korean war orphan to be admitted to the U.S. under the quota recently authorized by Congress.

The first friend, who found him painfully crawling on the streets of Pusan after doctors amputated his frost-bitten feet, was Sgt. Harold J. Douglas, Hattiesburg, Miss.

DOUGLAS, WHO has seven children of his own, took the boy home, cleaned him up, fed him and gave him a place to sleep.  But Song was too proud to take charity.  Each day he went out with his shoeshine box, shuffling around on two bits of tire casing that took the place of feet, and returned at night.

Then Douglas wondered if it might not be possible to get the boy some artificial limbs.  He contacted friends at the Army's orthopedic laboratory, and Capt. James N. Calway, San Francisco, and Sgt. Richard E. Gormanson, Tacoma, Wash., arranged for a new set of feet.

Calway was so taken with the boy that when he returned to the U.S. he wrote to Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, asking if the waif couldn't be admitted to Boys Town.  Bishop Sheen relayed the request to Msgr. Nicholas Wegner, director of the school, who immediately approved it.

With this step accomplished, there was much paper work to be taken care of, and Maj. John Butchkosky, Silver Springs, Md., undertook to push it through.  Final clearance came earlier this month.

NOW EVERYTHING was in order except for the price of the ticket, and this proved the smallest obstacle.  American servicemen, the Pusan Masonic club, civilians, and officials in short order collected the $400 needed for a half-fare plane ticket.

To make certain he would travel in style, Maryknoll Sisters in Pusan made Song a new suit.  And for a final surprise, Butchkosky, who is in charge of the orthopedic laboratory, present Song with a new set of limbs.




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