Shoulder Sleeve Insignia     Currahee Distinctive Insignia    2nd ID Distinctive Unit Insignia

506th Plaque Presentation
June 26, 2000

by Carl Rebele (M Company, 506th AIR, Camp Breckinridge, KY, 1952;
B Co, 578th ECB, 40th Infantry Divison, Republic of Korea)

The Currahees in South Korea are serving our country just as well as we have done in the past. The 506th Plaque Presentation to the 1st BN, 506th Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division could not have been more appropriate or thoughtful. Our Association can be very proud of these soldiers who are truly on the point, and first in harm’s way at the South Korean MLR.

They have the same concerns as we all encountered, but I can assure you that the 506th training and tradition still prevails. They have good commanders, and are excellent soldiers. They have read Band of Brothers and asked themselves if they can represent their country as well as the veterans of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm. I am certain that we have all asked ourselves that same question, and the answer is that they will just get the job done.
 
The opportunity to make the presentation came during the USO Salute to Veterans at Camp Casey on Monday, 26 June 2000. We did this along with CSM Kenny LeonGuerrero, commanding 1-506; CSM Charles W. Fitzpatrick, commanding 2nd ID; and Major General Robert F. Dees, US Army 2nd ID commanding. All Eagles. Then, Now and Always.
 
Along with the Association Plaque, we included photographs, a book, and a history of the Korean War for the 506th Archives. This was all imitated as I read a 1952 letter sent to me by an officer who had just learned that his son was KIA only 30 days before his return to the United States. This letter that MG James R. Pierce sent to me became a benchmark for the rest of my life. It contains the quality of life and leadership criteria that continue today with the 101st.
 
The South Korean people are most appreciative, grateful to us and all other troops who served their country. They are also very, very proud of what they have accomplished. We fought together, and later helped them grow into a contributing nation to the world economy.

Fifty years ago, we went to Korea and, along with the ROK forces and those soldiers of other United Nations countries, we were able to eventually save South Korea from Communist dictatorship. When we veterans left the country, the destruction was vast. Today we see the miracle that has now emerged as modern South Korea. 

Our soldiers there today are now part of that process, and will represent our nation to preserve freedom and democracy wherever they may be sent. It was an honor and privilege to express the everlasting gratitude of the veterans who went before them.

The 101st Infantry Division, from 1950-1953, was a three Regiment Training Division at Camp Breckinridge, KY sending soldiers to Korea every 12 weeks. Needless to say, we were processed quickly to the MLR, and most of us never served beyond Company or Battalion. We had good commanders and strived to be just as good at our own levels. It is important for you to understand that the 1st BN, 506th now in Korea is the linkage to this 1950 heritage. They are just as important now as we were 50 years ago.

The 50th Anniversary Trip 2000 will be shared later on, for Ann and I were just overwhelmed with the hospitality that was given to us: from the Honor Guard at the airport; the 8th Army Command and all their soldiers; the Republic of South Korea; the USO; the recognition and medals; and most of all, the South Korean children, parents, and grandparents. I am very proud to have served; to come home to work and raise a family in America; then, 50 years later as a guest, return and to observe their Commemoration of success and gratitude.



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506th Airborne Infantry Regiment Association (Airmobile - Air Assault)
This page updated 04/06/13