Remembering Soldiers of the 'forgotten war'
July 27, 2010
IT'S been nearly 60 years since Sgt. Dean Scantling returned from the Korean War, but the pride of serving his country is something he never forgets.
In honor of his service in what is now known as the "forgotten war," Scantling was given a certificate making him an honorary member of the 2nd Special Troops Battalion, 2nd "Black Jack" Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, at Fort Hood, Texas, in May. He was also inducted into the "Order of the Spur," allowing him to wear the prestigious "combat spurs," which he received during the ceremony.
Although Scantling only spent two years in the Army-a large part of it fighting in Korea-the memories of his service are never far from his thoughts. The values the Army taught him, he, in turn, passed on to his grandson, Sgt. 1st Class Cheyenne Barber.
"I joined the Army because of him," said Barber without hesitation. "He taught me from a very young age that to be a good American citizen, you need to serve your country."
During his time in Korea, Scantling served as a rifleman with the 35th Infantry Regiment. Growing up, Barber didn't hear very many stories about his grandfather's service. In fact, it wasn't until Barber spent some time in Korea with the Army himself that Scantling really opened up. "We had shared some of the same experiences at that point," said Barber. "Communications really opened up. They put up the fence at the demilitarized zone, and I was there when they took it down," he joked.
Following his time in Korea, Barber was deployed to Iraq, where he served as a combat engineer. "We can talk about our war experiences now," he said. "It's made our relationship even stronger."
"I'm proud to have my grandson follow in my footsteps," Scantling, a Glenwood, Ala., native, said quietly. "I'm very proud of what he is doing."
Although he has been out of the military a long time, he still holds it very close to his heart, and he was very happy to be honored with this ceremony, explained Barber.
"This is the first time we've really got to share the military together," said Barber. "We shared more pride in that moment than any before this. I was probably the proudest Soldier in the Army right then."
"It feels good to be part of this ceremony," said Scantling. "I'm very happy."
Barber said this is the first time one of his units has ever gotten together and honored a war veteran who wasn't one of its own. "Gentleman like that did such a good job of setting the bar high," said Col. John Peeler, the commander of the 2nd BCT. "If they can do it, you can too," he told the companies of Soldiers gathered to watch the ceremony. "Be proud of what you're doing, and know that there were a hell of a lot of people who came before you who did it, too."
<i>Spc. Justin A. Naylor is assigned to 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division public affairs.</i>