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Korean War veterans in Tilton to be honored

Sixty-two residents of the New Hampshire Veterans Home are being recognized for their service in the Korean War.

Army Lt. Col. Dennis Snelling, representing the Department of Defense’s 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee, is awarding medals and certificates at the Tilton home Tuesday.

Eight members of the group are women.

Currently, there are 190 American servicemen and women who call the veterans’ facility “home,” spokesman Leonard Stuart told The Citizen of Laconia. Veterans from World War II make up the largest portion of the residential population, with the Korean War second.

The Commemoration Committee is a three-year program authorized by Congress to honor the service and sacrifices of those who served in Korea. The war in Korea, authorized in 1950 by president Harry Truman to stop Communist aggression from the north, went on for a little more than three years. It ended with the signing of an armistice on July 27, 1953.

Unlike earlier veterans of World War II who were welcomed with tickertape parades, or later Vietnam veterans met with protests and hostility, Stuart said veterans of the Korean War “often came home to nothing at all, mustering out and returning to civilian life with no fanfare.”

President Obama said last month that the veterans deserved a better homecoming from a war-weary nation and that their legacy is the 50 million people who live freely in a democratic South Korea.

More than 36,000 Americans were killed in the conflict. The U.S. still has 28,500 troops based in South Korea.

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