CHAPMANVILLE - Chapmanville Regional High School was one of 12 schools state-wide kicking off the Take a Veteran to School day program in West Virginia on Monday, Nov. 10. Veterans representing all conflicts talked to CRHS students about their real-life war experiences.
"Every day, 1,500 United States Veterans die before their impressive personal histories can be recorded," said Michael Kelemen, a Suddenlink executive and President of the West Virginia Cable Telecommunications Association, which is sponsoring the 12 school events. "Nearly 200,000 Veterans live in West Virginia and it is the mission of the Take a Veteran to School Day initiative to ensure that these Veterans' stories are heard, remembered and revered."
Among those speaking to CRHS students was Frank Goff, president of the West Virginia Korean War Veterans Association.
"We came to honor veterans and it was a beautiful program," Goff, a Charleston native said. "It's make me real proud that I served and it informs the students on their responsibilities on their obligation to their country and to each other. It was a beautiful program and the veterans did exceptionally well. None of them tried to elate themselves or take credit for something they didn't do, which is common among veterans. No veteran toots his own horn; somebody has to toot it for him."
Goff said he crusades to help get Korean War veterans the recognition they deserve. The Korean War is often called the forgotten war since it happened from 1950-1953, falling between World War II and the Vietnam Conflict. According to Goff, the Korean War was one of the bloodiest wars of our country.
"I was in Japan, when the war started. I was on ambiguous maneuvers when they decided to intervene in Korea," Goff said. "On the third and fourth of July we were actually unloading in Korea. About the seventh and eighth of July was my first evening and night of enemy combat.
"The Korean War lasted 37 months and we had 54,000 veterans killed in Korea. Still have over 8,000 veterans from Korea unaccounted for. The Korean War Memorial in Washington said there were 33 veterans killed, but some of us veterans knew better. We did some things and now they have put up a new monument in Washington that states there were 54,823 American soldiers killed in Korea.