Greene County, Arkansas

Men receive letters of appreciation, medals from Korean president

Published in the Daily Press

Aug. 23, 2001

Transcribed by : Sandy Hardin

Two Paragould residents received letters of appreciation and medals in the mail recently from the president of Korea, Kim
Dae-jung of Seoul.

The two men are Jack Taylor and Gene Widmer. the men went to grade school together, joined the army together, were farmers, reunited in Korea and have kept in touch ever since.

The Republic of Korea is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the war's end . Both men were inducted into the military on Nov. 15, 1950 , and left as Corporals. While talking about their experience in Korea, both men noted several vivid memories they have.

Taylor said, "The biggest cemetery I've ever seen was in Korea. They bury people in a sitting position, instead of lying down, and they are facing the sun."

Widmer recalled a trip home from Korea, "We were served tainted stew meat. Only one person wasn't sick on the way home. He was who didn't have the stew. "

Taylor said his unit "would use the people from Korea, rock soldiers, to help building bridges and things. Major Bill  Meriwhether trained the rock army soldiers."

Taylor served in Korea for about eight months while Widmer server just under on year.


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