The Korean War
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What was he/she doing during the Korean War? How did it influence his/her thoughts about U.S. intervention overseas and Communism? Select this Topic for writing ideas to narrate his/her experiences.
In the 1950's, U.S. troops went to Korea to help fight Communism. Did the events of the Korean War interest him?
- In 1950, Truman sent U.S. troops into Korea for U.N. authorized police action. Was he/she surprised that the U.S. became involved in the Korean conflict?
- Truman wanted to fight in Korea because he/she "felt certain that if South Korea was allowed to fall Communist leaders would...override nations closer to our own shores." Did he/she think that Communism was something that the U.S. should have been concerned about or not?
- At the beginning of the war, the American troops were very successful, fighting their way to the Chinese border. Did it seem that the U.S. was a powerful country? How did he/she feel when U.S. troops were pushed back to South Korea?
- President Eisenhower was elected during the Korean War. Did he/she vote in this election? Why did he/she vote the way he/she did? Did Eisenhower's military affiliation influence his/her vote?
- The fighting in Korea basically ended where it began, at the 38th parallel. How did this make him feel about the war? Did he/she think that the U.S. had made a statement about America's commitment to containing Communism? Did it feel like the fighting had been a pointless venture?
- How did the mood of the country at the end of the Korean War compare to the mood of the country at the finish of WWII? Why did he/she think that there was a difference?
Was he/she involved in the fighting during all or part of the Korean War?
- Did he/she fight in WWII as well as Korea? How did he/she feel about going into combat again? Did he/she have the same feelings about Korea that he/she did about WWII?
- Describe basic training. Who was his/her commanding officer? Who were his/her peers? Where and for how long was he/she trained? What did he/she learn?
- Did he/she have trouble getting along with anyone in his/her unit? Why? What became of it? How did he/she deal with it?
- Did he/she have a nickname? What were the memorable nicknames of others?
- How did he/she feel about sharing his/her space with others? Did it feel cramped at first? Was it easy to get used to?
- What was his/her most vivid memory of basic training? Specific people or places? A certain event?
- Which weapons was he/she trained to use? How did he/she feel about using weapons? Was he/she comfortable with one in particular?
- Was he/she especially skilled at one particular task? Did it become his/her "specialty"?
- Did basic training build up or cut down his/her self-confidence? Why or why not? Did he/she feel as if he/she was well-prepared for his/her duties? Did it turn out that he/she was prepared?
- Where was he/she stationed after basic training? What were the people and the surrounding area like?
- How did he/she keep in touch with his/her friends and family back home during this time? Did he/she save any letters he/she or they might have written?
- What battles did he/she fight in during this war? Was he/she part of the invasion of North Korea on October 8th? Was he/she a witness to the Chinese attack of 200,000 men on November 8th? How about the see-saw battles later in the war? Describe what happened during these battles.
- In later years, did he/she keep in touch with any of those that he/she fought with? Did he/she save any of their lives? Did they save his?
- Was he/she injured in any way? Describe what happened. What went through his/her mind when he/she realized he/she was hurt?
- If he/she was injured, did he/she heal quickly or not? Did it change him in ways that he/she still noticed in later years? How?
- Did he/she ever need to take someone's life? Describe the experience. How did it affect him both immediately and in the long term?
- Why did he/she leave the service? Honorable discharge? Injury? End of active duty? Describe the circumstances and how he/she felt about them.
- Was he/she able to return to "normal functioning"? Was it easy to put it all behind him and get on with his/her life, or did he/she have to struggle? What was hardest to adjust to once he/she returned?
- Was there someone or something that was helped him readjust to being home again? What did this person do?
- After all was said and done, what did he/she learn from his/her experiences in the military? Why were these lessons valuable to him? How did they change him and his/her ideas or values?
- How would he/she have been different if he/she had never had these experiences?
- What sort of memorabilia did he/she save from this time? What did it symbolize to him? What memories and feelings did it bring back after the fighting was over?
Did he/she stay home during all or a portion of the Korean War?
- Why did he/she stay home? Was he/she not called up or was his/her tour of duty shorter than the war? Was he/she too young or too old? Did he/she wish that he/she could have gone to fight?
- What was it like at home? How was life different because of the war? Did he/she have to make any sacrifices because of the war?
- Did any loved ones fight in the war? How did he/she feel when they left? Was he/she scared? Did he/she think that he/she would never see them again or did he/she feel that they would return? What actually happened?
- If any loved ones went to fight, how did he/she keep in touch with them during this time? Did he/she save any letters he/she wrote or received?
- Did any loved ones die because of the war? Who? Did he/she know how he/she or he/she died? How did he/she find out about this person's death?
- What was it like when his/her friends and family finally came home? Had they changed in ways he/she didn't expect? Had he/she changed in ways they didn't expect? What was hardest to adjust to once they got back? What was easiest?
- Did it take a long time for life to return to normal? Did it ever? Was it easy to put it all behind him and get on with his/her life or did he/she have to struggle? Why?
- What sort of memorabilia did he/she save from this time? What did it symbolize to him? What memories and feelings did it bring back after the war?