Memories from the Korean War
Slade served in the Korean War for 14 months, from 1952 to 1953. He has received many medals and certificates for his service.
A wall in his home is covered with these honours, as well as old photographs of himself and other soldiers.
Directly beside a photo of himself, at the age of 22, is a photo of Donald Penney.
Every year on Remembrance Day, Slade, now 87, lays a wreath at the old memorial outside the United Church in St. Anthony to honour all those who have fallen.
But he doesn’t know if he’ll be able to get out for Remembrance Day later this week because of health issues.
In recent years, he has started to regret the decision to enlist. The horrific things he saw and experienced have given him PTSD.
“If I had known, I’d have to go through that, I would have never went to Korea,” he told the Northern Pen.
One incident impressed upon him was the little Korean boy with his legs blown off.
But at least now Slade finally knows what happened to him.
Two years ago, he received a medal from the president of South Korea. In the process, he also learned – through information accumulated by the Canadian ambassador to South Korea – that the boy survived the incident and grew up with two artificial legs.
He had a good job and had married but with no children.
Unfortunately, he recently passed away in 2012, at the age of 64.
Slade never got to contact him again, nor did the boy learn about the St. Anthony soldier who saved his life.
But all those years in between, Slade never forgot that little Korean boy and remembered their brief moment together in his poem, “A tear in my eyes.” See the poem below.