The North Bend Eagle


Veterans honored with Korean peace medal at capitol

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 8/1/18

LINCOLN – On July 27 Governor Pete Ricketts hosted a ceremony to honor veterans who served in theater during the Korean War, including three North Bend locals.

Korean medalDeputy Consulate General of the Republic of Korea Donghan Yang presented Frank Lodl with a medal for his service in the Korean War. Gov. Ricketts, right, hosted the event on Korean War Armistice Day.

The ceremony was held on National Korean War Veterans’ Armistice Day. This year marks the 65th anniversary of the armistice. At the ceremony, veterans received an Ambassador for Peace medal, which was created by the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Patriots and Veterans’ Affairs to honor American service men and women. Frank Lodl of Morse Bluff and Clayton Snover and John Wilson of North Bend were among those honored.

The Governor, Deputy Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Chicago Donghan Yang, and Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director John Hilgert spoke to those assembled. The Governor signed a proclamation and presented veterans with their medals.

Lodl, 87, served in Korea Jan. 1952 until March 1953. He was drafted at the age of 21, sent to Ft. Ord, Calif., for basic training and by January was on a ship bound for Japan then on to Korea. He was assigned to the 7th Regiment, 3rd Division, I Company as an infantryman.

Two weeks after he arrived, a friend from Malmo was killed. Reality hit hard.
“The country was a lot like here,” Lodl said. “It was so cold there when we were on the line my coffee would crystalize over before I could finish drinking it. It was 20 degrees below zero at times.”

Korean medalThe medal reads: Korean War Veteran “YOU WILL ALWAYS BE OUR HERO.”

About six months into his time in Korea, Lodl was on patrol in the trenches when his group was attacked. He received a wound in this left leg for which he received the Purple Heart.

While recuperating, he was a jeep driver taking food and ammunition to the front. One trip taking a trailer of ammunition to the front was especially memorable.

“We got about half way (to the front) and the trailer started exploding,” Lodl said. “At first I thought we were being hit, but there was nobody there. All of a sudden, again. Then we discovered the trailer was exploding.”

They unhooked the trailer and saved the jeep, with Lodl getting shrapnel in his bone with additional explosions.


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