Veteran Salute

Veteran Salute: Korean Vet finds love on way home from war

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) - An Attica, Kansas veteran said he had just started farming with his dad and brother when his draft papers arrived. 

At just 21, Ralph Hunt said they got off a boat in South Korea, and then were boarded on a train.

He said it was the dead of night, and it was so dark, he said you couldn't see the person next to you.

"That's what I want to finish up," Korean War Veteran Ralph Hunt said.

Hunt has passed quite a bit of time in his shop on his farm in Attica.

Although it's been decades, he can still vividly recall what it was like to be a scared young man. 

"Somebody in that train box car, we were sitting there waiting, pulled out a little harmonica, and started playing, and it, and it settled me down," Hunt said.

Once they were in the war zone, Hunt said being a part of the field artillery, his job was to load the forty pound shells.

"I learned real quick, that you had to have a little push to it, to get it in there," Hunt said.

His battery's job was to hit the enemy and help soldiers ahead of them.

He remembers that after getting their Howitzers dialed in, they could lay down rounds to protect the troops on the front line. 

"The second round we took, was usually on target and then all six guns started firing on them," Hunt said. 

His battery didn't stop firing, because the enemy was so close. 

"They was going to, run over us," Hunt said.

He said the few still in the fight kept it up, as the battle raged on. 

"We fired all night long, dropping those shells," Hunt said.

The artillery crews didn't just have the enemy to deal with, Hunt says it was tough handling those big shells in the coldest place he's ever been.

"I wrote a letter back to my folks, and they sent me a pair of insulated mittens," Hunt said.

Hunt was so thankful to pack these up and come home.

"I took my duffel bag and headed to the bus depot," Hunt said.

That's where he met a friendly soldier.

"I've got a car, you want to ride along, I said, of course I would," Hunt said.

It wasn't long before Hunt met the soldier's sister.

"She told her mother at that time, she said that's the man I want to marry," Hunt said. 

The two's love story took off from there.

"It's 421 miles from here to her house, which I made several times," Hunt said.

The two would go on to marry and create 60 years of memories, on their farm in Attica.

The Hunt's raised one daughter and she is the one who just a few years ago sent for all of her father's war medals, so his service could be properly honored.

Unfortunately, she said the place where most of the documents pertaining to his service were stored caught fire, so she was only able to get a few of the medals he so bravely earned.


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