LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Survivors of the Korean War, often referred to as the “Forgotten War,” will never forget the price they paid for America’s freedom.
William Norwood, or Bill as he’s simply known, is a former prisoner of war.
“When I came home I thought I could just forget all those experiences,” he said.
Norwood wanted to forget the horrible memories haunting him while serving in the Korean War from 1951 until 1953.
When Norwood returned home to the States after the cease fire, he thought his life would return to normalcy.
He often wanted to share his story but struggled to find individuals he could relate to.
“I couldn’t talk with my family. I couldn’t talk with my neighbor – they wouldn’t understand so I felt I needed to find one of my buddies,” Norwood said.
And so he did. In 1976, Norwood formed the Korean War ex-POW Association with the idea of bringing together those who’ve fought so hard for this country.
For 39 years, Norwood and his buddies have reunited annually to share their stories.
“It was such great therapy for me as well as the others,” Norwood said.
Each year attendance grew. At one point, there were more than 1,200 members.
As the years progressed, the number has slowly declined.
“Unfortunately, through the years we’ve lost a lot through death. There’s a lot of illness – it’s becoming a hardship,” Norwood said.
Norwood made the tough decision to dissolve the group and just reflect on the memories. Those memories with great company that Norwood says he wouldn’t have been able to survive without.
“I look at this as just a separation because I will still see my buddies – not all of them I can’t but those that I am close to we will still meet,” he said.