Kenneth L. Hayes

A KOREAN WAR VETERAN

Bronze Helmet Award of Excellence
Awarded: October 2001
We just said “Goodbye” to a good man.
A husband, a father, a friend,
A buddy to all who knew him
In that land where young lives did end,
A loving and devoted grandfather;
All these and just one thing more;
A neglected combat veteran
Of the forgotten Korean War.

Over fifty four thousand men died there,
Proud to answer their country’s’ call,
Over eighty one hundred still missing,
For no one could see them all fall.
No black granite wall for their tribute,
No statues to honor their dead,
No names were written in concrete,
Just a lonely white cross at their head.

No Hallowed ground for their sleeping,
No flags to wave in the wind,
Just the hills where their blood flowed so freely
And the faithful boys’ lives there did end.
The hills hold all the memories
Of the men who gave up their lives;
They are the monuments to honor our soldiers,
They’ll endure through man’s anger and strife.

The first men died south of Suwon
In the retreat back to Pusan;
Here they held to a small fragile foothold,
Against the enemies’ waves they held on.
They finally broke out of the perimeter
And north to the Yalu they fought,
There the Chinese joined in the conflict
And made all the dying for naught.

There was Glouscester, Hamburger, and No Name,
The peaks of Jane Russell took an iron will,
The summit of Old Baldy came down a few feet,
And the blood ran in streams down Pork Chop Hill.
They left blood in the harbor, at the city of Inchon,
And in the battles for Seoul many a good man fell.
At the reservoir of Chonjin they were surrounded,
And the retreat to Hamhung was a cold icy Hell.

There were no victories, just dig in and hang on;
It was a vicious, long dirty, small war.
The young men who fought in the conflict
Became old men, changed evermore.
When hundreds of Chinese charged up the hill
And their guns became too hot to hold,
They became so sick of all of the killing
And their young spirits became hard, and cold.

Their blood consecrated all of the mountains,
And the rivers flowing through the land
Became the only monuments to these men,
And in Honor they’ll forever stand.
When my life on this Earth is over,
And I shall dwell down here no more,
Just say: “We have buried another veteran
Of the forgotten Korean War.”