You are on page 1of 4

Dunning 1

Torey Dunning
Mrs. Thayer
English 10 B
2, May 2013
Falling Out On the Home Land
The Korean War, the Forgotten War, the war forever engraved in the minds of every man
women and child in 1950s America. Everyone has their own version of the American dream.
The American people of the Korean War wanted a good government to protect them and their
families. Sending men to war did not allow families to stay safe and whole. If you take apart
families by drafting, the American dream of raising your own family, men to have a wife and
raise children, is crushed. Americans also needed a government that was able to stand together
and agree on how to handle a war. The people at home, during the Korean War, were not able to
reach their American dream.
When the Korean War broke out, the draft was initiated again in order to provide the
number of replacement forces on the Korean peninsula (The Korean War Educator). There
were many men, including college students, which were drafted in the war. This was separating
families starting when the son of a household reached the age of 18. People who ran the drafting
process looked for males who had a good education and were ranked in the upper half of his
class. Then, after they were chosen, they had to take a Selective Service College Qualification
Test. There were a total of 413,392 men tested and 63% were chosen (The Korean War
Educator). Just any man could have been picked, taken away from his family and sent to war!

Dunning 3

The American people were not happy with how the United States government got
involved with, and handled, the Korean War. It was said that America intervened into a civil
war (Taylor). When World War II had finally been brought to an end, Americans had been
brought peace and prosperity (Teaching with Documents). Yet the United States was trying
to get involved in a war just 5 years after we had finished a different war. The Americans at
home felt that the United States had no business getting involved in another. Some believed that
we should have stayed home and helped better ourselves instead of fighting the Soviet Union for
global influence (Brackett). Congress, even though they would support Trumans actions in
sending troops to police action, did not want the United States to formally declare war
(Brackett). The government should be doing what is for the good of the governed, not just
whatever they can in order to get more power.
America was too involved in protecting there influence on the other countries instead
of taking care of their own citizens. The government wanted to, in a way, control the other
countries around the world. That has always been the problem with the United States. We are
trying too hard to be the global caretakers instead of what we should be, first and foremost, the
caretakers of the people in our own country. In the 1950s, when this war took place, the
governments total spending was $70.3 billion. We spent $19.4 billion on pensions, health care,
welfare, and education all combined. Then the U.S. decided to spend $24.2 billion on defense
alone. Our money paid for military defense, civil defense, veterans, foreign military aid, foreign
economic aid, R&D defense, which is research and development, and Defense n.e.c., which is
Defense Network-enabled Capability, intended to achieve enhanced military effect (Chantrill).
Why would we try to aid the military and economy of foreign countries when we cant even get
our own citizens to help our military without forcing them by drafting and our economy is

Dunning 3

hanging by a thread? The only reason that we helped these countries and spent so much money
on defense was because we did not want the Soviet Union to get power over the other countries
before we could. We let our own citizens suffer so that the other countries would, for lack of
better words, pick our side over the Soviets. This is not how the government should be taking
care of and protecting their citizens.
Opponents of this idea may claim that it was necessary for the United States to step in.
The United States needed to try to put a stop to the spread of communism. They also feel that the
Soviet Union may have overtaken all of North and South Korea. If this were to happen then
those countries would have been converted to communism and it would allow for more and more
spreading of the communist government. The tension between the Soviet Union and America
(Korea/Korean War) need to be put to an end and the only way to do that was to go to war and
end it once and for all. However, there were better ways that the United States could have
handled the Soviet Union and the communist party. First of all they could have explained all of
this to the U.S. citizens then tried to see how many men were willing to go and fight in war for
their country. If they would have simply said to the citizens that this was what had to be done in
order to protect them and the United States, then maybe they would have gotten the support from
their citizens and they would have stood behind their government in war. Instead they just forced
men to fight and that was not a decision made for the good of the American people and American
families. Yes, the spread communism needed to be stopped but, it would have been much easier
and the country would have been able to unite together as a whole to get it done.
Engraved in the minds and forever changing the lives of every family in the 1950s.
Tearing families apart, fighting for influence and a government too involved in themselves to
protect their people. The people at home, during the Korean War, were not able to reach their

Dunning 4

American dream. The dream of the American people is ruined when we dont have a good
government to look to for protection, when men are torn from their families, and when we take
better care of other countries than we do ourselves. People try to let it go, move on and because
of this, it will always be known in our history as the forgotten war.