South Korea names Army vet ‘ambassador for peace’

Contributed photo Calvin Gibson, right, shares his receipt of a Korean veterans award Friday night with American Legion Post 147 Commander Wayne Johnson.

Contributed photo N.C. American Legion District 16 Commander Robert L. Steele Sr., left, presents Post 147 Commander Wayne Johnson, center; and Phil Bradley, adjutant, with flag streamers recognizing the post’s achievement of reaching 100 percent of its membership goal in the past year.

ROCKINGHAM — It has been 62 years since Calvin Gibson came from from the Korean War.

Recently he received medals and a commendation from Korean officials in gratitude for his service there.

He shared the honor Friday night with members of the Rockingham American Legion Post 147.

When Gibson returned home in 1953 from Korea, he joined American Legion Post 147, and members immediately made him the post commander.

He remains a member today.

Gibson was called to serve in the U.S. Army in 1952 at age 24 and trained at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

He spent the remainder of his 24 months of service as a company clerk with the 45th Infantry Division Headquarters in Seoul, South Korea.

“I made sure they knew I could type,” Gibson said he told army officials.

His trip to Korea and back was by ship.

Discharged from the Army at Fort Bragg, he came home and worked at McDonald’s General Merchandise Store in Hamlet until his retirement.

At age 86 now, he still faithfully attends the Legion’s monthly meetings and other events.

Several years ago he received a U.S. military medal for his Korean service.

His latest award was in the form of an official proclamation as an “Ambassador for Peace” from the Minister of Patriots and Veterans Affairs and Chairman of the Korean Veterans Association, Republic of Korea.

They expressed Korea’s gratitude and good wishes for American sacrifices to reestablish their free nation reaffirming their “mutual respect and enduring friendship between nations.”

Also at the meeting, Robert L. Steele Sr., American Legion N.C. District 16 commander, presented the post two flag streamers for reaching a 100 percent membership goal.

The post awards were presented at the American Legion Department of North Carolina 97th annual convention June 10-13 in Raleigh.

Post 147 meets the first Friday of every month at 7 p.m., off Ledbetter Road, Rockingham.