SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. (KCAU) — Jim Schrader was only 21-years-old when he enlisted in the Marine Corps to serve in the Korean War.
Schrader didn’t go into too much detail about some of his time in the war, but he said the experience he faced back then still have a major impact on him today.
Schrader served as a Marine and drove a tanker during his time overseas.
“I went in, in 1951 and I was in Korea in ’52 and part of ’53, and then I got out of the service in ’54,” said Schrader.
Although he only spent a short time in Korea, each day was unforgettable for Schrader.
“Always thankful I was in the Marines because I had the best training, but I still thank God for bringing me home to my family, that’s about it,” said Schrader.
“They went to boot camp in California and then his school for tanks was in Hawaii so that’s where they went and did most training with the tanks, but it has changed since then obviously, but that was just to gear them up to be over there as quickly as they could and to get the tanks on the ships as quickly,” said Joel McNaughton, Schrader’s grandson.
“It takes a certain type of person to join the Marine Corps, and he is definitely one of those I would say poster Marine type, you know, tall, strong, brave, all the stuff,” said McNaughton.
McNaughton followed his grandfather’s footsteps joining the Marines when he was only 17 years old.
“Some people just naturally gravitate toward the Marine Corps, obviously, and he joined because he knew it was something he had to do in his heart and most of us feel that way,” said McNaughton.
He and his grandfather share a special bond, both understanding the strength it takes to go to combat for our country.
“A lot of things similar because I was in the armor unity. So, I feel our experiences were really close so that’s very special to me. Out of respect for him, I’m not going to re-tell any of his stories but he was affected by things that happened to him as well as things that he was ordered to do,” said McNaughton.
McNaughton said a lot of his grandfather’s memories of the war have been suppressed over the years, as mental health was not a topic of conversation in the early 90s.
“There’s a lot more help nowadays. the older generation they necessarily haven’t gotten a lot of the stuff out or they have tucked it down inside you won’t know that anything is wrong. So, it’s important to check on veterans and I think this sort of thing reminds people of the veterans in their life, so that does happen more often,” said McNaughton.
Schrader returned home from the war in April of 1954, but a majority of the medals were not awarded to him until 1987. After his family did some research to get him the proper medals.