There is a special commemorative award available to Korean War veterans, and local Legions are looking for vets.
Legions are looking for anyone who served in Korea from 1950-55 and their families, to apply for the Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal, an expression of appreciation from the Korean government to Canadian service men and women.
“It is very important to the people of Korea and it meant a lot to me to get it,” said Qualicum Beach resident Lee Faulkner, who served in Korea in 1952-53.
Faulkner said he doesn’t want to put himself forward as the local representative, admitting he has been dealing with a lot of emotions brought back by returns to South Korea in 2003 and last year for the 50th and 60th anniversaries of the end of the war.
But, as he points out, he and his fellow veterans are in their 80s and there are fewer and fewer of them around, and he considers the medal important enough to publicly encourage people to apply.
There are no figures about the number of Korean veterans in the area. According to Veterans Affairs there are 9,900 surviving Canadian veterans out of the 26,791 who served. The Parksville and Qualicum Beach Legions each say they only have one active member who served in Korea, but they say they know there are others in the area, and since the medal can also be awarded posthumously, families are encouraged to apply.
The medal was originally presented to veterans who returned to South Korea through the Revisit Program and has since expanded to all Korean veterans.
To be eligible, the veteran must have served during the Korean War from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953 or participated in UN peacekeeping in the country through 1955.
Contact your local Legion for more information and to apply.