10/2 Guam (2)
>> My name is Alfred Ignacio. I was born in February, 21st, 1934. I joined the military in November 1951. We left for basic training in Hawaii Schofield on November 29th. We arrived in Hawaii on December 8th. Survived basic training for 16 weeks, infantry basic training. After basic training, they have list of people for different assignment. Some assigned to US, some for Korea during the war. My name fall under the Korea assignment. We were supposed to go straight from Hawaii to Korea, and we kind of declined and asked if we can go home first and see our family before we go to war, so they let us. They give us, I think, like 8 delaying … 8 days delaying route to stay with our family and wife. Then we boarded a ship that was going to Japan, and from Japan, they ship us to Korea. We came in the late afternoon the Korean Peninsula. We cannot disembark because it was too daylight, and so we wait until nighttime when it’s dark, and then we disembark, and while we disembark replacing them. Also we met on the way that were going out to replace us. We are the replacement for them. From there, they took us to in the train, and we went to classes in Yeongdeungpo. Some other men before we get to assigned to our unit, I was a … Then later I was assigned to the 45th Infantry Division. They were pulled off the line resting when I arrived to this unit, and I met them there. From there, we wait for maybe a week or two before we move up to the front line with this new unit that I was assigned to, and from there, we have assignment on this section of main line of resistance. They call it MLR. Our mission actually is mostly defensive instead of offensive. We do offensive, but not as much as defensive. We have to secure combat outposts, and that’s where most of the fighting are because this is very important section of the line that everybody wants to take, the enemy and us, so if they are the one occupying, we try to take it from them, and if we overrun them, they lose. We took it, but then they’ll try to take it back again, so that’s how we fight. A lot of the people at this outpost were American people who take the wounded and dead, but the enemy, they just left the dead, so the place is very nasty. It’s dirty, stink, dead people all over the place, especially in the summer. It’s … You can’t hardly stand the smell. It’s terrible. In the winter, it’s not too bad because they don’t decompose like the summer. That’s how we … Like I said, mostly we do defensive, not offensive. We don’t go out and attack them or like that. We just try to maintain what we have and guard it and not for them to take it back, and that’s how the mostly the people that do that. Then we have to move to get some more, and that’s when we would be offensive. I stayed there. I have to make 36 points to go home. If you up on the front line, you get four points a month. If you move back to a blocking position, which is a little bit behind the line, you get three points a month, and then a little bit further back, maybe relaxation area, you get two points, and if you go back to the gate, the Army Reserve area, you get one point a month, so the more you stay out on the line, faster you can get the points to go home. It took me about almost a year to make that 36 points because sometimes we go back, rest, come back on again until the time comes that I make my points. Then I go home.
>> Tell me about the Inchon Landing, the Second Inchon Landing.
>> It’s not really a landing. It’s … That’s where we disembark from the pack. I think that’s where the ship comes in to disembark people. I don’t know about that first Inchon Landing. Okay. I think there’s a story about that. I didn’t even know about that.
>> But how about your experience from Inchon?
>> The tour when we went to Korea, the agent make arrangement for the Korean veterans to visit Korea. That’s when the tour people told us that this is the Inchon Landing, and I didn’t know what took place on that first time, and … Because I was in maybe third group. The first one, I think it’s the Inchon Landing where they to have to fight their way in, or I don’t know. When we came near, we were not being …
>> And you said you lied to your mother about …
>> Yeah. Well, when I joined the military, I was 17 years old, and they won’t take me because you still have to be 18, and I really want to go. I was supposed to go to high school. I just graduate from the eighth grade in San Francisco, and I’m supposed to go to GW to high school, but instead of going to the high school, we all went to the recruiting office, and we sign in to join the military. Actually, I was going to go join the Air Force, but they said it’s full already. They don’t take anymore, so the Army is open, so we don’t have any choice. We took the Army, and we have to take the test. Eventually, I passed it. They took me in, and I got lot of problems in my physical, and I get rejected for being in the military. I got a big red mark on my paper that said rejected, and I said, “Oh, my god. I want to go,” so somebody told me that there’s a way to fix my rejection. My tooth hurt bad, so I have to have it fixed, high blood pressure. That’s the one that they find on my physical, high blood pressure, and I have to … I went to the dentist and have it pulled out, the bad one, I think two or three. I have to pay for that, and then they said you drink … Maybe have a glass of vinegar for your high blood pressure, so I did. I drank the vinegar, and then I asked the doctor to take my blood pressure, and he says there’s nothing wrong. It’s all normal, so I took my paper to the recruiting office, and I turn it in. My tooth, I fix, and my blood pressure is normal, so they took me. That’s how I joined the military. My mother have to sign a paper. I lied to her. I said, “You have to sign this because I raised my hand already, and if you don’t sign it, I go to jail,” so she signed the paper. That’s how I get in the military, and I got the basic training. Oh, how a mess that I made.
>> How about now?
>> After that, no problem. I was happy. I enjoyed being in the military.
>> And you must be proud of your service.
>> Yeah, yeah, yeah.
>> I’m glad for what I did …
>> And I’m …
>> … and what I earned.
>> And I’m very grateful for what you did.
>> Thank you so much.
>> Thank you.