Ceremony honors Milford Korean War vet Garrod

Milford resident Charles Garrod, an 86-year-old Korean War veteran, is doing his best to ask for national recognition of the 70th anniversary of the start of that war on June 25, 1950. (Delaware State News/Ariane Muller)

DOVER — A ceremony took place on Flag Day, June 14, in Dover honoring the efforts of Milford resident Charles Garrod, an 86-year-old Korean War veteran doing his best to ask for national recognition of the 70th anniversary of the start of that war on June 25, 1950.

Navy veteran Doug DeAngelis and his wife Kathy, owners of Patriot Auto & Truck Care in Dover, offered to use their business on Flag Day to honor Mr. Garrod and all veterans of that war that cost more than 37,000 American lives.

Mr. Garrod contacted all 50 state governors asking for a proclamation from each. About half responded with more coming daily.

Doug and Kathy DeAngelis with Mr. Garrod

In Delaware, each county will be presenting tributes as will individual towns. As the word spreads, he’s been interviewed by the national Korean War Veterans Association and on international media, including the Stars and Stripes newspaper and the Voice of America – Korea issue.

During his remarks he recalled Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s famous words, “old soldiers never die,” adding that veterans of “the forgotten war,” are slipping away and have become the “forgotten veterans.” MacArthur led the United Nations Command during the Korean War.

Dave Skocik, president of the Delaware Veterans Coalition, emceed the event. Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen and Milford Mayor Arthur Campbell provided tributes from their towns.

Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen honors Mr. Garrod.

Paul Davis, president of the Delaware Council, Vietnam Veterans of America, provided a greeting and noted it was his way of affirming the VVA’s national slogan of “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”

Additional tributes came from Larence Kirby, executive director of the Commission of Veterans Services, Mr. and Mrs. DeAngelis, and Maj. Gen. Michael Berry, Delaware’s adjutant general.

The Rev. Dr. John Riley, a retired Air Force veteran, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, Smyrna, delivered the opening and closing prayers.

Dr. Larence Kirby, executive director of the Commission of Veterans Services speaks to the crowd. (Submitted photo/Karen Skocik)

Mr. Garrod’s efforts to acknowledge his fellow veterans began with a 2008 visit to South Korea whose citizens and leaders hold them in high regard. Considering most are between their late 80s and 90s, the 70th anniversary may be the last chance to acknowledge the millions who served and 37,000 Americans who sacrificed their lives for another nation’s freedom.

He has written to every state governor requesting a proclamation for what has been called “The Forgotten War,” the first armed pushback against communism after World War II. More than half responded, including some who advised that such requests must be initiated by residents of their states.

Members of Patriot Warriors Motorcycle Club celebrated the event. From left, they are Mark Davis, Charles Garrod, Doug and Kathy De Angelis, Lew Boulder. Front: Wade Daniels and Brian Walsh. (Submitted photo/Karen Skocik)

That hasn’t stopped him from using the internet to reach out across the nation and beyond. His Facebook page has more than 3,600 followers but many of his generation aren’t online. His efforts have been acknowledged in the Korean War Veterans Association magazine. On June 9, Mr. Garrod was invited to accept a Kent County proclamation declaring June 25 as “Korean War Remembrance Day.”

The ceremony also included members of the Patriot Warriors Motorcycle Club from Dover and a display of vehicles relating to that era.

From left, Maj. Gen. Michael Berry; adjutant general, Delaware National Guard; Brig. Gen. Karen Berry, assistant adjutant general, Connecticut National Guard; Paul Davis; president, Delaware Council, Vietnam Veterans of America; Bill Richardson, Korean War veteran; Dave Skocik, president, Delaware Veterans Coalition; Kathy DeAngelis with husband Doug DeAngelis of Patriot Auto & Truck Care; Charles Garrod, keynote speaker; Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen; Larence Kirby, Delaware Commission of Veteran Services; Rev. John Riley; and Milford Mayor Arthur Campbell. (Special to the Delaware State News/Ariane Mueller)