San Luis Obispo native Dennis Perozzi Jr. arrived in Korea in January 1952 at the age of 25 on a bitterly cold winter day. In this video, military veteran Perozzi, now 92, talks about his experiences in the infantry amid current escalating tensions over North Korea's missile and nuclear testing. David Middlecamp The Tribune
BY NICK WILSON
San Luis Obispo native Dennis Perozzi Jr. arrived in Korea in January 1952 at the age of 25 on a bitterly cold winter day. The temperature was 32 degrees below zero, and he wore six layers of clothing.
Over the next 10 months, Perozzi served as an Army rifleman, fighting in a battle at Old Baldy Hill that cost 125 American lives (he was one of 60 in his company to survive). On another battle at Pork Chop Hill, 32 of his fellow soldiers were killed or wounded.
Today, the 92-year-old Perozzi rarely talks about his war experience, which included combat missions in what is now North Korea. But he does think about it occasionally.
As he observes Veterans Day this year, the tensions between the U.S. and North Korea carry shadows of the past and spark memories of Perozzi’s time at war.
Dennis Perozzi Jr., 92, served 10 months in the Korean conflict in 1951-52. He was an Army infantryman and earned the Bronze Star and other citations.
David Middlecamp email@example.com
The North attacked the South on June 25, 1950, on the 38th parallel that divided the two sides in an effort to unify the country, thus launching the war.
Perozzi spent much of his time in Korea north of the demarcation line, describing the landscape as “all hills with little valleys and not too many trees, at least not tall trees like we have here.”
Because of his location in the North, he didn’t really get to know Korean people or develop a strong sense of the culture.
He acknowledged battling nerves, saying that’s understandable. During one battle, Perozzi’s flak jacket protected him from mortar fragments, blocking shell pieces from penetrating his body.
“You’re scared, but you do what you’re trained to do,” he said.
The fighting today would be completley different. It would be all missles. If Something happens, there's going to be so many casualties on all sides, it's unbelievable.
Dennis Perozzi Jr., Korean War veteran
In 1967, three young U.S. Army infantrymen serving in Vietnam on an overgrow jungle island south of Saigon laughed together and became the kind of friends only those who’ve been through war really know. They all survived, even though they didn’t know it after being separated during the war.
Until The American Legion’s recent national convention in Reno, Nev., it had been 50 years since Hugh Crooks, Gordon Clapp and Robert Ryan had seen each other. But despite all the years that have passed since their time in Vietnam, the old friends smiled, laughed, joked and reminisced like they were still in their 20s.
As the three men finally met up at the National Convention, they recalled their days and memories together with stories and details that ranged from terrible to hysterically funny.
Ryan and Crooks met at the induction center after being drafted. Ryan inserted himself into a line in front of Crooks because he heard it was the one for training at Fort Ord, Calif., rather than Fort Bliss, Texas. They sat together on the bus and started a salty friendship neither of them knew would continue over 50 years.
After training they were all three stationed with A Company 3/39 of the 9th Infantry Division, Republic of Vietnam on an island known as the French Fort. Crooks was told he was really lucky to be assigned to this duty. ( Read the rest of the story - HERE )
by Richard Pushies
(Pictured are: Dan Dale, Post 66 Commander, David Glidden, Post 66 2nd. Vice Commander, Mike Knight, Post 66 member & owner of Coastal Peaks Coffee and Larry Foster, VA Voluntary Service Specialist. Don Marriott, Legion Riders Chapter 66 President is not pictured.)
Post 66, Legion Riders Chapter 66 and Post 66 Member, Mike Knight, owner of Coastal Peaks Coffee have joined together to support the Donaldson Mark-VA San Luis Obispo Clinic by providing coffee supplies for their veterans waiting to be treated. This is one small example of how Post 66 serves the veterans of our community. In this example, we help serve our veterans coffee, which is a small, but appreciated service. If you have ever sat in a medical clinic (VA or community) and waited a long time to be seen by a health care provider, having a good cup of coffee while you wait is definitely appreciated. It just is. In the picture, Larry Foster, VA Voluntary Service Specialist presented a plaque of appreciation to Post 66, Chapter 66 and Coastal Peaks Coffee for their generosity in supporting the veterans being served at the VA San Luis Obispo Clinic. The plaque will sit on the coffee table to remind our veterans who is providing their coffee.
Through a Post 66 member who visits the Santa Maria VA Clinic, we found out the Santa Maria VA Clinic has been providing coffee, creamer and sugar for the SLO clinic from the excess donations they receive in Santa Maria. Sometimes the supply of coffee from Santa Maria is not enough. Since government facilities, like VA clinics are not allowed to solicit donations, once we found out about the shortfall of coffee from Santa Maria, we decided to give the clinic a hand. After Post 66 Commander, Dan Dale and Legion Rider's President, Don Marriott found out the VA Clinic need help with coffee, they soon received commitments from their membership to support the cost of providing coffee supplies. When Commander Dale approached Mike Knight, owner of Coastal peaks Coffee, he too joined in to help support the Post 66 in providing coffee for the veterans at the SLO VA Clinic. Good Legionnaires working together can do plenty of good work in supporting our veterans.
This is a simple, but good example of how The American Legion, Post 66, Riders Chapter 66 and a few good members can use a little "Mutual Helpfulness" to provide support for our local veterans.
The American Legion today re-affirmed an existing position first passed nearly a century ago that is aimed squarely at groups that espouse racist beliefs.
“In 1923, The American Legion passed a national resolution at our convention in San Francisco that is as relevant today as it was 94 years ago,” National Commander Charles E. Schmidt said after the Legion’s National Executive Committee unanimously reaffirmed National Resolution 407, titled “Law Enforcement and Tolerance.”
First passed when many destructive forces were harming American society, the resolution resolves that “The American Legion considers any individual, group of individuals, or organizations, which creates, or fosters racial, religious or class strife among our people, or which takes into their own hands the enforcement of law, determination of guilt, or infliction of punishment, to be un-American, a menace to our liberties, and destructive to our fundamental law.”
The statement also further resolved that “The American Legion considers such action by any individual, groups, or organizations, to be inconsistent with the ideals and purposes of The American Legion.”
The American Legion takes great pride in being able to provide you with this abbreviated and comprehensive guide to veterans benefits. This brochure is not intended to make you an authority on benefits provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) but to make you aware of available benefits and services you may be entitled to, and how to
apply for them.
Questions concerning benefits or eligibility should be addressed to an American Legion Department Service Officer (www.legion.org/serviceofficers), a VA Regional Office, State Department of Veterans Affairs, or a County Veterans Service Officer.
We will all, one day, transfer to the Post Everlasting. Prior planning on issues such as eligibility for burial in a National Cemetery would be a blessing for those we leave behind.
This American Legion's document "What To Do Before a Veteran Dies" is another good pre-planning resource .
What To Do Before a Veteran Dies
Post 66 is closed for the holidays
December 15 to January 3
1st Wednesday of the Month
- Business Meeting 7 P.M.
2nd Wednesday of the Month
- Members & Guests BBQ Dinner
Bar Opens @ 5:30 P.M.
Dinner served @ 7 P.M. ($10)
Members and guests are welcome!
4th Wednesday of January, March, May, July September
3rd Wednesday of November
-Members & Guests BBQ Dinner
Bar Opens @ 5:30 P.M.
Dinner served @ 7 P.M. ($10)
Members and guests are welcome!
(Except 3 day weekends)
Bar/Meal starting at 4:30 P.M.
FYI:The background image on this web site, is grass seed. Good grass seed is needed to grow a solid grass root effort.