Loren S. Limback receives a Quilt of Valor
On Nov. 13, 2018, Quilt of Valor Foundation member Paula Smith awarded Loren S. Limback with a quilt she made during a ceremony held at the VFW Post No. 5649 Scholarship Dinner. Christena Windmeyer did the machine quilting.
Limback received his Army draft notice on his 21st birthday. He went to Lexington on June 22, 1965, along with Elbert Bredehoeft and Roger Fiene, for his Induction. They were sent to Missouri’s Ft. Leonard Wood for basic training and then were sent to Fort Knox, Ky.
Limback was there for Armor Training. After eight weeks of training, the trio received orders to go to Germany, but the orders were cancelled. They thought they would probably be sent to Vietnam. However, their orders were changed to go to Korea. They boarded a ship to go to Korea. Shortly after leaving the United States from Oakland, Calif., the ship hit bad weather. For four days they were not allowed up on deck. All the soldiers were sea sick. To this day Limback refuses to take a cruise.
Upon arrival in Korea, Limback’s orders were to serve his time at the 38th parallel, better known as the DMZ, which is the division between North and South Korea. His duty was to drive troops to the fields for guard duty. After receiving the rank of Sergeant, he was put in charge of the Motor Pool. While there, it was not uncommon to hear Korean propaganda from North Korea daily.
In August, President Johnson made a visit. He flew in and looked at North Korea for 15 minutes and then flew out. Then on Nov. 2, 1966, those keeping guard were attacked by North Koreans. The headlines of the Pacific Stars & Stripes read: “North Koreans kill 6 GIs South of the DMZ.” Considering the military escalation in Vietnam, the nation was shocked to read such a headline about a hostile action so far to the North.
President Johnson proclaimed, “because of duty, six of them died from communist gunfire on the almost forgotten front of the 38th parallel in Korea.” This was the first and deadliest ground action for GIs of the so-called “Second Korean War” and it led to lethal, heightened hostilities along the DMZ that did not end for three years.
Overshadowed by the war in Vietnam, a low-level ground conflict occurred in the narrow confines of the Korean DMZ. From 1966 to 1969, there were ambushes and firefights. These incidents were seldom reported in the mainstream media. Consequently, the public was oblivious to the small-scale fighting on the DMZ. That was fine with the Johnson administration, as the President did not want the nation to know they were fighting two wars. It was determined to keep a tight lid on hostile actions in South Korea. That policy effectively denied recognition to the GIs on the line.
Limback feels very fortunate to have survived this ordeal in Korea. While there he saw many terrible things as to how the poor people lived in South Korea. It was very, very sad. But he was able to attend church in Seoul, about thirty miles away, even though it took two hours to get there, changing buses three times. They provided a place to stay and served good meals. One service he remembers was Christmas Eve when the children sang Silent Night in Korean. That night he was very home sick.
He remembers some of the most pleasant times were receiving the many letters from home. But some of the men never received a letter. One of the most wonderful packages he received from home was a box of home grown Red Delicious Apples. You could smell them in the mail room before they were opened. Boy did he have lots of friends gather around him.
Elbert Bredehoeft and Linback went in the service together and spent time together the whole time. They were inducted the same day, went to Ft. Leonard Wood, Ft. Knox, on board the ship going over to Korea, and in Korea, even though they were about 10 miles apart.
When he completed his 13-month tour of duty in Korea, he flew back and spent five months at Ft. Knox. His discharge was June 22, 1967.
The Quilts of Valor Foundation is a national organization founded in 2003 by “Blue Star” mom Catherine Roberts of Seaford, DE. The first QOV was awarded in November 2003 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) to a young soldier from Minnesota who had lost his leg in Iraq. As of November 13, 2018, more than 202,108 Quilts of Valor have been awarded.