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"I really cried when I left Korea. I missed the Koreans, I missed my friends, I missed the service, I missed everything--not the war, but I missed that whole… experience." (Interview transcript)

   Ric Gleason-Mendoza
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War: Korean War, 1950-1953
Branch: Army
Unit: 1st Cavalry
Service Location: Seoul, Korea
Rank: Corporal
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Though he trained as a paratrooper after he was drafted out of college, Ric Gleason-Mendoza spent most of his tour in Korea working with ordnance distribution and in clerical positions. While training in the States, he resented the noncoms and officers, but once in country, he felt a real camaraderie with all the men he was serving with. He also had an active social life as a gay man; in contrast to back home, he felt much more relaxed about revealing his sexual preference. In his experience, company commanders looked the other way as long as the soldiers were doing their jobs.

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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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