World­wide youth trib­ute to Korean vets

Central Leader - - NEWS - By SI­MON MAUDE

A 16-year-old Auck­lan­der and her fam­ily are lead­ing ef­forts to help youth dis­cover New Zealand’s ‘‘for­got­ten war’’.

Sally Carkeek, sis­ter Mor­gan and cousin Deb­o­rah Solomon are at­tend­ing the sec­ond Korean War Vet­er­ans Youth Corps in Wash­ing­ton DC, from July 25 to 28.

Sally Carkeek says kids her age don’t know about the con­flict that kicked off the cold war. Pres­i­dent Barack Obama made a sur­prise ap­pear­ance at last year’s in­au­gu­ral Wash­ing­ton event. The youth corps is all about pre­serv­ing the lega­cies of those who fought in the 1950-1953 Korean War, ed­u­cat­ing fu­ture gen­er­a­tions about the sac­ri­fices made there, she says.

‘‘Our grand­fa­ther Lewis Mur­ray Carkeek served as part of the United Na­tions K-Force ef­fort in Korea,’’ Sally says.

Be­tween 1950 and 1957, 4700 New Zealan­ders served in Korea – 45 died.

‘‘When they got back from the war they were slurred and called ‘boy scouts back from the sum­mer­time hol­i­days’,’’ Sally re­mem­bers Lewis telling her.

‘‘But be­cause he saw ac­tion in World War II, he could laugh it off,’’ she says.

Lewis, who died in 2012, was ‘‘a re­ally car­ing, gen­tle man, a great spirit, who every­one looked up to’’.

He was the cen­tre of our fam­ily, Sally says.

The Carkeek sis­ters and cousin Deb­o­rah are join­ing dozens of vet­er­ans’ fam­i­lies at the three-day con­ven­tion, learn­ing how to dig­i­tally pre­serve loved ones’ records.

Deb­o­rah at­tended the first con­fer­ence and ‘‘wants to show the Kiwi per­spec­tive’’.

Last year a par­tic­i­pant’s par­ent apol­o­gised be­cause he didn’t re­alise coun­tries other than the US fought in Korea, Deb­o­rah says.

‘‘This is kind of our way of hon­our­ing Lewis’ legacy. He cared about peo­ple and wanted to share his story,’’ Sally says.

Re­mem­ber­ing grand­dad: Sally Carkeek says her war vet­eran grand­fa­ther Lewis Mur­ray Carkeek was a great spirit.

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