In the Korean War, the U.S. spent 67 billion dollars and deployed 90% of the troops fighting for South Korea. It was a highly unpopular in North Dakota. For many of the soldiers deployed there, it had a different feeling than fighting in World War 2. There seemed to be no clear reason or cause to justify it. However, despite the resistance to the war, 2,600 soldiers from the North Dakota National Guard served in the military during that time, with 800 of them overseas.
In 1951, North Dakota passed four resolutions regarding the war. The first sent good wishes to soldiers who, quote, “have answered the call to active duty.” Since North Dakota is such a heavy farming state, the second resolution asked the draft boards to provide deferments to men working on farms. The third resolution offered sympathy and support to the soldiers because, “sorrow came to many homes in our state because their sons went forth to war, never to return to their parents.” The fourth resolution asked the President and Congress to withdraw all of the troops.
One North Dakotan that answered the call to active duty was Dale Kolrud. Kolrud served in the 3rd infantry division, also known as “The Fire Brigade.” On this date in 1950, he was wounded fighting for a war he didn’t understand. However, he didn’t receive a Purple Heart. But, Kolrud’s son, Mark, worked hard with a group called Forgotten Heroes to give his father the recognition he deserved, and his work paid off. In 2009, also on this date, exactly 59 years after his wounding, Kolrud was awarded the Purple Heart at a ceremony with his grandchildren, wife, and of course, his son Mark.
Dakota Datebook written by Lucid Thomas