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Dublin VA honors 7 Korean War veterans

The Carl Vinson VA Medical Center honors seven Korean War veterans during a ceremony.

Dublin paid a special tribute to veterans of the Korean War Tuesday. The Carl Vinson VA Medical Center honored seven veterans for their service from "the Forgotten War" more than 60 years ago.

Sabrina Burse went to the ceremony and spoke with one prisoner of war to learn his story. Tuesday afternoon, the center recognized William Freeman, John Shelton, James Merritt, John Rogers, Kelly Smith, Johnnie Stevens, Jessie Washington. 

Each service member was awarded the Ambassador of Peace Medal on behalf of the Republic of Korea.

"I've always said, 'Nobody likes to fight, but somebody needs to know how,'" said Freeman. 

That's exactly what Freeman did during his time in the military.

He served from June 14, 1945 to Jan. 10, 1947. He served again from Oct. 14, 1950 to Dec. 10, 1953.

"You see these men that have been through the war and have no arms and no legs. It kind of brings tears to my eyes," said Freeman. 

He first joined the military when he was 16 years old. He was a prisoner of war Feb. 12, 1951 to Aug. 19, 1953.

"I enjoyed my Army life. It taught me a lot and I have a lot of respect for the military," said Freeman. 

The veterans also received the state's certificate of honor signed by Governor Brian Kemp and the Georgia Department of Veteran Services Commissioner Mike Roby. 

Freeman is 90 years old now, and says he's grateful for his experiences and the chance to serve his country. 

"I love it dearly and love my flag and I honor it," said Freeman. 

The Korean War lasted from June 1950 to July 1953. The VA says more than 33,000 Americans died in battle there.

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