Korean MemorialKorean War & Korea Defense Service Veterans, Lake Co. (FL), Chapter 169

Being a Veteran

by Julianna Goldberg, Mrs. Barclay’s Class Winning Essay

Courage, hope, sacrifice and loyalty to our country are the words that come to mind when I think of a veteran.

I met John A. Yohn on April 15, 2008.

When he was 19 years old, he left the United States by boat and put his life on hold to serve our country in Korea for 10 years as a gun chief in the United States Army. He told me how he was in charge of a M7 Tank Chasey 105 Howitzer, which is the kind of gun he used. He described a time when he was in the gun tank and was surrounded by the enemy and feared for his life.

As I sat there listening to Mr. Yohn, I began to realize the importance of serving our country. Veterans represent our freedom and the ability for us to live our lives to the fullest. Veterans have given their lives and some have even lost their lives for us. I cannot express enough of how thankful I am for that.

I feel that all Americans on Veterans Day and Memorial Day should reflect on what we have because of these fine men and women that served our country. It is a day that we should set aside to honor all the mighty soldiers with parades, plaques, memorials, and you could even think of a way that we could make their life better. You could send care packages, letters, pictures or even cookies to the soldiers in Iraq. Something this small can make a huge difference to a soldier that is giving up everything for us to have freedom.

Mr. Yohn served our country from 1947-1957 and in that time he received many honorable recognitions for conduct, American Defense and a Maritime Battle Metal. Miraculously he never got wounded.

I would like to quote Mr. Yohn, "A veteran is someone who has made a blank check that is made payable to the United States of America in any amount and including his life!'

He put his life on the line for our country.