‘Where the hell are the medics?’ Memories of a Korean War veteran

Editor’s note: The Gazette’s “Stories of Honor” series is supported by MasterLube and AARP.

There was no Thanksgiving for Guy Copeman in 1951. The 22-year-old Midwesterner had been looking forward to his first decent meal in weeks. A serving of warm turkey would have been a welcome reprieve from the daily routine of powdered eggs, powdered milk, dry cereal and rice they served on board the troop ship taking him to his first assignment at Okinawa.

Guy Copeman, on the far right, served as an x-ray technician in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. 

Image courtesy of Charles Copeman

A private first class in the U.S. Air Force, Copeman had his fill of lousy meals over the past year. During basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, he masked the flavor of his food with ketchup or jelly to choke it down. On board the troop ship making its way across the Pacific Ocean, Copeman chewed with a mouth of missing teeth; a dentist at Lacklund had yanked many of them out.

Copeman eagerly waited for his turkey dinner, but a cook

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