PALMER — Jim Clark does not like to speak concerning the fight he noticed in the course of the Korean Struggle.
The U.S. Navy veteran, who lives on the Alaska Veterans and Pioneers House in Palmer, will solely say he is alive as a result of one other man gave his life.
Clark plans to seek for that man’s identify on a go to this week to the Korean Warfare Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
He’s one in every of two dozen veterans making the all-bills-paid journey because of the Alaska chapter of Honor Flight, an Ohio-based mostly nonprofit that flies veterans to the nation’s capital to go to with one another and tour the conflict memorials on the Nationwide Mall.
“It does not value the veterans a dime,” stated Ron Travis, president and co-founding father of the The Final Frontier Honor Flight, the nonprofit’s Alaska hub. “We do not even let ’em purchase espresso.”
This week’s flight marks the ninth since Travis started coordinating two journeys a yr in 2013. Nationally, the nonprofit flew greater than 20,500 veterans and 18,200 guardians final yr.
Clark joined the U.S. Navy in 1950, just some months after the struggle started. He acquired out in 1954, a yr after it ended.
He requested to not talk about how a seaman who did upkeep and restore on optical gear like periscopes and binoculars ended up on the entrance strains — or what occurred there.
“It took me forty years to recover from that,” he stated Friday, sitting in a chair by a window in his tidy room adorned with photographs.
Clark will speak a customer’s ear off about virtually anything: the ships he served on, his a number of professions starting from house builder to courtesy van driver, his six youngsters and almost forty grandchildren.
Clark made 18 journeys on the Alaska Freeway within the motor residence he referred to as residence for 5 years, because the dying of his spouse, Ginny, till final yr.
The couple moved to Alaska after dwelling in Tacoma, Washington, the place Clark graduated highschool. He grew up on a Wyoming ranch, herding cattle with a gun in his hand on the age of 12.
He hunted and fished in Alaska. A glistening black bear pelt hangs on the wall of his room: a small blackie that charged Clark on the Kenai Peninsula 50 years in the past.
Clark got here out of fight and turned to alcohol, however give up consuming about forty years in the past.
He says he is categorised as 70 % disabled. He nonetheless bears the charisma, full head of hair and attractiveness of the younger Navy man he as soon as was, with a devilish grin and all of the world nonetheless forward.
“I acquired a humorousness, man,” he stated Friday, chuckling at…