Manert Kennedy of Del Norte, Colorado says he's been to South Korea more than two dozen times and would go back again in a heartbeat, which might be a bit surprising given his first trip to the country.
A Marine platoon sergeant, Kennedy was on the front line in the Battle of Chosin, a two-week campaign that's considered one of the most brutal in U.S. military history. The fight is the subject of an American Experience documentary streaming on pbs.org.
What was supposed to be an uneventful mission just after Thanksgiving in 1950 was anything but, as 10,000 U.S. and U.N. troops waged a relentless battle against 100,000 Chinese soldiers. Besides being outnumbered 10 to 1, the weather also impacted the battle. Temperatures fell well below zero and, lacking proper clothing and footwear, both sides suffered.
Although he went on to fight other battles after Chosin, and taught for more than three decades at the University of Colorado Boulder after returning stateside, Kennedy says he still feels the effects of those two weeks every day, especially as the anniversary draws near. He spoke with Colorado Matters host Nathan Heffel.