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Back in Korea - Chris Sarno Memoir

The ship was at sea for 19 days before it stopped at Kobe, Japan, and then sailed on to Inchon, Korea. "There was a huge sign that everyone walked under at Inchon," he recalled. "On one side, it said, ‘Welcome to Korea.’ The flip side said, ‘Bon Voyage.’ Once they had disembarked at Inchon, the troops were trucked in the pitch dark of night to their various assigned units. Jeeps then took them on the last leg of their journey from regiment to their individual companies. It was now late September 1954, and Sarno was happy to be far away from a stateside duty station, where he tended to spend all of his money on liberty rather than saving it. "Stateside, I always spent my monthly pay," he said. "I wanted to build up enough stash to buy myself a car (in cash). When I got out 17 months later, I did." Sarno said that he still felt like Korea was the "asshole of the world," but he had no regrets about being back. "I never had one misgiving about volunteering to have a second tour in Korea," he said, "never".

But things were definitely different in Korea on Sarno’s second tour of duty. "By February of 1954," he said, "all of the combat personnel had rotated home. All new replacements and officers were coming aboard from the States, and they were a different breed. They tried to make us back into spit-shined Marines while cavorting with the dusty, dirty, muddy, cold, and hot environment. It created low morale, and a lot more ‘soap operas’ arose in this contrasting garrison duty/climate than compared to the fast-moving combat situations of my first tour."


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