Federal bill recognizes this as the Year of the Korean War Veteran

The U.S. government would like to honor Korean War veterans, but they must find them first — and quickly.

All Korean War veterans are entitled to a certificate through the U.S. Department of Defense, honoring and thanking them for their service. The application is available online, due to Senate Bill 602, which designates 2012-13 the Year of the Korean War Veteran.

The Department of Defense wants to deliver the certificates to living veterans and to family members of veterans who have passed away.

However, most Korean War veterans are not computer-savvy, said Neil McCain, commander of the Korean War Veterans Association in Oregon. And they’re aging, with the average age about 80 years old.

McCain also said that even though he has a national membership of 17,000, only about 2,000 of them have an email address.

He’s hoping to reach as many Korean War veterans as possible through other means, including newspaper, television and radio. He’s leaving applications at media outlets, grocery stores and libraries.

According to the resolution passed in the U.S. Senate, nearly 1.8 million members of the U.S. Armed Forces served along with the forces of the Republic of Korea and 20 other Allied nations “in the Korean theater of operations to defend freedom and democracy in the Korean Peninsula.”

It states that during the Korean War, 36,574 people from the United States died and 103,284 people from the United States were wounded “in some of the most horrific combat and weather conditions in the history of warfare.”

Ceremonies were held in Wilsonville to remember both the 60th and 62nd commencements of the Korean War.

Veterans or their family members can apply for the certificate by visiting

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