The Experience Of The War In Korea
The Korean War was a trying time for America. The nation was getting involved in a war that had little or no possibility of a fortunate outcome. The Korean people were divided among how the country should be run. A uniform system of government looked like it may never come to be. In order to protect one of its vital interests as well as to prove to the rest of the world that America didn’t stand for communism, the United States began taking up arms. The war would prove a most difficult task to achieve successfully. In fact, it was almost impossible to continue fighting what seemed to be far from a worthy sacrifice of American lives.
It was January 10, 1950 when Robert Marrara of Arthurdale, WV, among thousands of other men, were drafted and sent to California for basic training. Robert is 5’9" tall with wavy, silver hair and a structure that shows just how strong of a man he is for being 72 years old. Of Italian descent his parents immigrated here and he was one of several children. They lived in poverty, as most of America did, through the thick of the Great Depression. He attended electrical school after college didn’t seem right for him. He is a genius by all standards but is far too modest to admit it. His experiences are enough to fill days full of stories and the personal interview he gave was a treat. Robert recalls how difficult coping with the situation in Korea was, but also how he welcomed the challenge:
"It was tough and, you know, but I really, I have to say that I did enjoy being, because my knowledge was – my previous training before I got in the army – was the very thing I needed to do the job I was assigned to do. And because I could do it in such a good way – and you know, I’m not asking for any, I never ask anybody for any decorations or anything but I guarantee you had I not been there, it would not have been the same. You know, because somebody had to do what I did and I think I did it better than…[abruptly comes back on subject] but I enjoyed doing it and it was tough but the weather was the toughest part of it."
When going to war, his skills proved most useful in finishing whatever was assigned to him. He knew a great deal more about automobiles and mechanics than many of his superior officers. It was because of this that he was given the responsibility that kept him occupied and away from the thoughts of war.
When shipped overseas to Japan, Robert was assigned to be a part of the division known as ordinance maintenance. This division was basically the mechanics and people with the technical know-how to repair all kinds of broken devices, ranging from batteries to automobiles. His work, as he remembers, helped him through the many cold nights. He talks about how difficult it was to be given such responsibility for the camp:
"Well, it wasn’t, it wasn’t, it was hard because I was the, for the whole company I had to supply the lights which I had rebuilt a generator, had a...