A 22-year-old Roger King gets his shoes shined by a young Korean man in downtown Pusan, Korea, in 1951

during the Korean War. King was drafted in 1950. He served as a railroad conductor in the 724th Railway Operating Battalion. The trains carried troops to battle zones and transported supplies, equipment and food. King said working the railroad didn’t expose him to any “life-threatening experiences” during the war, but he learned a lot about himself. “It was a good experience,” he said. “It made a better person out of me, I think.” King served from April 1951 to September 1952 before being discharged. King, 80, lives in Harvard, Ill., but is a frequent visitor to the Rock-Walworth County area. He said he doesn’t talk about his war experience much, but he tries to participate in Veterans Day programs, especially those at local schools, because “it’s important for children to learn.”