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Veterans await North Korea's next move

By Bo Koltnow, Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 05 2013 07:41:16 PM CDT

Korean war vet shares thoughts on North Korea threat

Korean War veterans are among those awaiting North Korea's next move.

"3 quarters were killed. All 18-23-24 year olds," Korean War veteran Joe Barna said while showing us a picture of his battalion

For the 83 year old loss has always been a part of life.

"I saw in one week and a month more than most see in a lifetime," Barna said.

This Freeland, Luzerne County native was one of the few marines in his battalion who survived the Battle of Bunker Hill. Just one part of his 13 month deployment during the Korean War.

"I don't want to see anyone go over there and fight cause I know what the country is like," he went on to say.

North Korea, a country that Barna says can be unforgiving and a foe he called relentless.

"We faced a burp gun. 600 rounds a minute and mortars over there," he remembered.

But times have changed. Nuclear war is now a possibility, as North Korea once again ratchets up its rhetoric.

 "Should America be concerned on what North Korea is capable of militarily?" I asked him.

 "Right now I believe yes. We don't have an abundance of men in the military right now," he answered.

For Barna, who doesn't think North Korea would stand a chance, it is a reminder of the turmoil and pain he faced.

As he reads a letter his great granddaughter wrote about him, he thinks of the 28-thousand U.S. troops stationed in South Korea, now on high alert and in danger of, like him more than 60 years ago, feeling the loss of fellow soldiers and friends first hand.

"Not going to be a winner, two losers. If we fight a war we are going to lose too," he said.