MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WPDE) - Early Friday morning 42 Korean War veterans living on the Grand Strand boarded a bus headed for Washington D.C. They were accompanied by 15 team members and Larkin Spivey, a Vietnam veteran, who organized the trip. The journey is like Honor Flight only they're traveling by bus.
"I feel like it'll be something that's well deserved and I'm ready for it," said Herbert White. He served in the Korean War from 1951 to 1952. White heard about the trip through an ad on the radio. This will be the first time the 87-year-old will see the memorial honoring those who served in the war, "I'm very excited"
White and the rest of the group will watch a special celebration on Saturday marking the 60th anniversary of the the end of the Korean War.
Spivey, is a Vietnam vet and author of several war books. He recently wrote one on the Korean War, "It's really a fascinating story. It was a very unpopular war at the time and some even call it the forgotten war, but in retrospect amazing things were accomplished. South Korea has become a thriving modern free nation. It's one of our greatest allies and such stark contrast to what's happened in North Korea where as you know it's under communist domination. It's really a wasteland practically."
Spivey is also a volunteer ambassador for Korean War veterans through the Department of Defense.
He wanted to make sure they're honored, "We may not agree with the policies or the government or what have you, but when we send men and women overseas to fight they should be honored when they come home, and I think Vietnam veterans have played a big role in making sure that happens in the present day."
While in Korea, Spivey said our servicemen faced some tough conditions.
"It lasted for three years and we had 30,000 men killed in Korea. It was a brutal, harsh war. It was fought in one of the most difficult climates of any war that's ever been fought. There were 30 degree below temperatures in the Korean winters. It was a very difficult situation and our men had to survive bitter conditions to even be there," Spivey explained.
"We never knew what was gonna happen. It was kind of a scattered situation. I guess what I remember a lot about it was the cold weather in the winter and how hot it was in the summer," added White.
After a quick breakfast, the veterans walked a red carpet and onto a bus bound for a special trip they likely won't forget.
Anyone can attend the reception for the veterans when they return on Saturday. It's being held at the Dunes Club in Myrtle Beach around 9 p.m.