Korean War veterans gather to share memories, fellowship

Published 5:00 am Saturday, October 28, 2023

BUCHANAN — Area Korean War Veterans gathered at the AMVets Post 1978, 117 E. Bertrand Rd., Saturday, Oct. 21 for the Papasan Mamasan Korean Veterans’ monthly meeting. The organization formed decades ago in Buchanan to honor and serve Korean War veterans.

The organization initially had 262 members, a number that has dwindled to less than 100.

The U.S. Army deployed a total of eight divisions to the peninsula throughout the 37-month war (1950-53). More than 33,000 U.S. troops were killed and 103,000 wounded.

The group hosts an annual Christmas gathering each year while other meetings during the year occur on the third Saturday of each month at American Legion, VFW and other military-related posts in Berrien County and surrounding areas.

For members, the monthly meetings and the Christmas gathering offer them the chance to see old friends and reminisce about their wartime service. Sessions often feature presentations about veterans’ programs as well as fun activities like bingo and raffle giveaways.

“I like to be in the company of guys I can relate to,” said Niles resident and veteran Harry Trescher. “They went through the same things I did. We all blended in so well together. I enjoyed it. I took pictures of everything we did.”

Trescher said he still thinks about his wartime service and time in Korea these many decades later. A former naval photographer during the Korean War, Trescher came to Niles from Chicago after he was discharged and got a job working for none other than the Niles Daily Star.

Trescher hopes community members will support veterans and keep them in their thoughts.

“I hope the public will pray for us,” he said. “We hope others don’t have to experience the same thing.”

The Papasan-Mamasan Korean War Veterans will meet at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18 at American Legion Post No. 568, 3003 Johnson Rd., Stevensville. Veterans are encouraged to attend. For questions, contact Julie Wilson at (269) 845-2054.