PHOENIX (KSAZ) - The Korean War took place from 1950-1953, and more than 60 years later, a group of veterans locally are fighting to keep the memory of that war alive. FOX 10 hitched a ride with some Korean War vets on that very special mission.
Among the sea of floats in Phoenix's Veterans Day Parade, there's a persistent bunch. These men are in their 80's and veterans of the Korean War.
"We call ourselves the forgotten war because you don't hear about it," said Carl Orth.
But the crowd certainly did hear about them during the parade. James Bockman made sure of it; he serves as the cheerleader of sorts for the quickly dwindling group.
The few men aboard the float traded war stories. Bockman was a young man in the army, Orth was in the Navy. The mission was the same in Korea, although they never met in combat, they are working on a new mission together.
"Our outfit we're dying fast, we had 7,700 people in our roster, now we've got like 2,800, we've been burying them ever since," said Orth.
They're hoping to recruit a new generation to keep the memory of the Korean war alive.
And through the pageantry of the day, a young boy broke through the crowd, reached up to Brockman and handed him a note, a simple thank you doodled with an American Flag.
"Every year it seems like there're more and more people, it makes me feel good," said Orth.
If the cheers, thank yous, and notes of appreciation are any indication, for these veterans their mission is accomplished.
The Korean War veterans are advocating Congress to add a Korean War Wall of Names to the current Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. where it would list the names of those members of the military killed in combat or still missing.