Veteran Salute: Communications from the Korean War and beyond

Veteran Salute

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Plainview graduate was newly married when he was drafted to the Korean War.

You certainly wouldn’t know the former Army Infantryman is now 90 years young.

Rex Childs said when all of his patrons were sent to the war front, he knew he would get his draft notice soon.

“I keep it in the fairway, as much as possible,” Korean War veteran Rex Childs said.

So his golf game is still strong, and so is his sense of humor.

“My wife used to say I overdid it just a little sometimes,” Childs said.

The two were newly married, when the war effort came calling.

“I was running a pool hall, and all my customers were, ‘Bye, Bye’ and I was drafted a week after that,” Childs said.

The Army Infantryman said once he got to the Korean War their job was to make sure the lines of communication were clear.

“We run the communication wires from the headquarters online out to the machine guns, and to the mortars,” Childs said.

Childs spent most of his time on Heartbreak Hill.

The soldiers ensured headquarters could always communicate with the front lines, and they did so by phone.

“By line, we didn’t have, we had radio, but it was just coming on,” Childs said.

Although Childs said he was very homesick, he was glad to be there with many soldiers from Kansas.

“You felt love with them, because we were all there together at the same time, for the same reason,” Childs said.

He said they were also in the coldest place he’s ever been.

He recalls walking the short distance from the mess hall to the dorm carrying his Thanksgiving dinner.

“18 degrees below zero, mash potatoes were froze solid, laughs, that’s what I always say, when I eat mash potatoes I think about that,” Childs said.

Despite all they saw and endured Childs said he would do it all over again.

“I would, at 90 years old, and I would still be able to do something for the country,” Childs said.

Childs is amazed at how far technology has come, since he served nearly 70 years ago.

“They’re probably carrying smart phones right now,” Childs said. “I don’t even know how to operate mine, let alone being online.”

What he established overseas went on to shape his long and award winning radio career as the agriculture reporter.

He also uses his talented pipes to sell more things than most can count as an auctioneer.

The lifelong horse lover also still travels often to help his son, who trains horses.

“I put out the cart at the Derby Golf and Country Club,” Childs said.

There’s that, too. He has a job, where he continues to try to keep it in the fairway.

Childs and his wife enjoyed 63 years of marriage, before she passed.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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