The names of Korean War veterans might soon be inscribed at the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C.
“One last hill to take,” Lewis Vaughn, former state senator and chairman of the Korean War veterans fundraising committee, said in an email. “They’re just a bunch of old tired men, warrior heroes, every one of them.”
More than 37,000 American soldiers were killed in action in Korea while more than 7,000 were prisoners of war of which 35% died in prison, Vaughn said. More than 103,000 were wounded losing fingers, toes and limbs when frostbite was rampant.
Legislation enacted in 2016 permits a “Wall of Remembrance” to be built at the site of the memorial. However, the legislation did not allocate funding for the wall.
Vaughn is leading the charge to raise money in South Carolina for the wall.
“When this was made known, the old warriors of Foothills Chapter #301 of the Korean War Veterans Association once more stepped up to the plate,” Vaughn said.
The organization is spearheading efforts to raise money to engrave the names of the 576 S.C. residents who were killed or captured during the war. Of the 576, Greenwood County had three residents killed in action while Abbeville County had seven killed in action. McCormick County had three residents killed in action, Saluda County had eight and Laurens County had 11 killed in action.
“That’s where we need your help,” Vaughn said. “The families of these men will be forever grateful for your kindness and generosity.”
Vaughn said the goal established was $200,000 for the state while $160,000 has been raised to date.
“This will ensure the legacy of, not only those who paid the supreme price in the war, but also those who participated in it,” Vaugh said.
Each county in the Lakelands has a goal:
Greenwood County — $1,050 of which $180 has been donated.
Abbeville County — $2,500 of which $2,800 has been donated.
McCormick County — $1,050 of which none has been donated.
Saluda County — $2,800 of which none has been donated.
Laurens County — $3,850 of which $90 has been donated.
All donations to the committee are tax-deductible.