Veterans organization

Korean War Veterans Organization to Disband | Local

Paul O’Keefe graduated from high school in 1950. Four days later, the Korean War began.

O’Keefe served as commander of No. 60 Adirondack Chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association for two years.

But with most of its members in their 90s, the Adirondack chapter is disbanding.

O’Keefe blamed the band’s breakup on “old age”. He said Korean War veterans organizations across the country are all facing the same problem.

“We are fainting. Just like our poor World War II guys,” said O’Keefe, 90.

At least 20 of the 100 members have died in the past two years, some from COVID-19 and some from old age.

“It looks like everyone started going down at the same time,” band member Lois Miner said.

The organization has five vacant officer positions and cannot find anyone to fill them.

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“They just can’t do it all anymore. It’s very sad. It’s very, very sad,” Miner said. Her husband served in Germany during the Korean War.

The Korean War was between North Korea and South Korea from 1950 to 1953. The war began on June 25, 1950, when North Korea invaded South Korea. The fighting ended with an armistice on July 27, 1953.

The Korean War Veterans Association will be officially dissolved on July 27, 69 years after the end of the conflict.

To mark the occasion, the association will host a ceremony at 10 a.m. on July 27 at the War Memorial of Korea at Crandall Park in Glens Falls. The ceremony will be followed by lunch at the Ambrosia Diner near Northway 19 exit in Queensbury.

The July 27 ceremony will be the “last hurrah” for the Adirondacks chapter, O’Keefe added.

The organization has traditionally welcomed all veterans who served anywhere in the Korean War, in Korea at any time, or spouses, widows, family, and friends of veterans.

O’Keefe still plans to remain active as a chaplain for several different groups and will continue to serve as a chaplain for the state organization.

“It was a pleasure,” he said. “I made some good friends.”

Gretta Hochsprung writes features and news from her hometown. She can be reached at 518-742-3206 or [email protected]