South Carolina’s Korean War era veterans will be honored at ceremonies this weekend in Spartanburg and North Charleston. U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) is hosting the events, which will be held at USC-Upstate and the Charleston Area Convention Center. More than 200 veterans in the Upstate have already RSVP’d for the ceremony, with more than 250 currently scheduled to attend in the Lowcountry.
Commemorating the 60th anniversary of the ceasefire that ended the use of armed force in the Korean War, the July 27th ceremonies will honor the veterans who served in that war, as well as family members of those veterans who have passed. Estimates say that as many as 70,000 Korean War era veterans currently live in South Carolina.
“This is an opportunity for our communities to come out and say ‘Thank You’ to those who served our great nation during the Korean War,” Scott said. “These men and women fought valiantly for our country, and it is my honor to welcome them at these ceremonies."
The Upstate ceremony will take place at the University of South Carolina-Upstate Readiness Center in Spartanburg at 9 a.m. The Lowcountry ceremony will be held at the Charleston Area Convention Center in North Charleston at 4 p.m. Korean War era veterans and family members of deceased veterans in attendance will receive a Congressional Certificate of Appreciation, as well as a commemorative pin. To register, call Senator Scott’s offices in Greenville (864-233-5366), Columbia (803-771-6112), or North Charleston (843-727-4525), or visit http://scott.senate.gov/veterans.
Lieutenant Bill Funchess of Clemson will keynote the Upstate honor ceremony. Lt. Funchess was a prisoner of war in Korea, captured by Chinese soldiers after his platoon was overtaken by thousands of enemy troops. He was imprisoned in a mud shack with 11 seriously wounded men for years before being one of the last POW’s released in a prisoner exchange. He arrived in Korea among one of the first waves of American soldiers, ten days after the United States entered the war in 1950. He eventually chronicled his experience for his family. That account was later published as a book by the South Carolina Adjutant General’s office.
Brigadier General Ernest Brockman of Charleston will keynote the Lowcountry ceremony. Brigadier General Brockman retired from the U.S. Army after nearly 40 years of service and is the president of the Charleston chapter of the Military Officers Association of America. He is a recipient of the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and Army Achievement Medal, among numerous other decorations.