Efforts extended by America's warriors were honored during a morning ceremony at the new Watkins-Logan Texas State Veterans Home, 11466 Honor Lane, Tyler.
Six men who live at the home received accolades from family, friends and peers: Bonham Burleson, U.S. Army; Grady Grabbs, Army; Edwin Reynolds, Air Force; Shelby Hopkins, Army; Glen Elliott Sr., Army; and Walter Ledbetter, Air Force.
"Gentlemen, I'd like to say thank you for the service and contributions to the country," Master of Ceremony Karl Little said.
The Korean War, sandwiched between World War II and the Vietnam War, is sometimes described as the "forgotten war," but the label does not accurately reflect the extreme hardships endured by those who served and sacrificed, officials said.
It was a bloody battle that unfolded between June 1950 and July 1953.
More than 5.7 million people were involved in the war that claimed more than 33,000 lives. About 7,200 people were taken prisoner, and more than 8,100 remain missing in action, Little said.
Donna Huffman, Texas Veterans Land Board, expressed appreciation to the almost 100 people who showed up Friday to commemorate the occasion, which came a day after the state panel agreed to rename the facility.
Programs given out at the ceremony reflected the home's new name, which now excludes the late Samuel M. Garrison Jr. who misrepresented his World War II military service record.
Friday's ceremony for the Korean War veterans included special certificates from U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, represented by regional director Louellen Lowe, with additional honors extended by U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, through his district director, Jonna Fitzgerald.
The men also received special Korean War Veteran ball caps while their wives received bouquets of flowers. International ALERT Academy cadets provided a musical backdrop.
Some of those honored during the occasion seemed hesitant to accept the praise.
"This was real nice," Elliott, who served from 1954 to 1956, said.
His wife, Ellen, added, "We really appreciate it."
Virgie Reynolds, squeezing the arm of husband, Edwin, was more emotional about the efforts that went into the ceremony.
"I had to fight back tears," she said. "I think this was absolutely wonderful."
Other Korean War veterans said they were happy to see the sacrifices of their war have not been forgotten.
Perkins served in the Marines from 1953 to 1956.
Chapter member Leo Glover, a military pilot, served in the U.S. Army in the Korean and Vietnam wars, from 1958 to 1975.
"I think they are very deserving," he said. "It's been so long."
Baty's widow, Bettye, and daughter, Donna Baty Veenendaal, also attended the occasion to pay tribute to his memory.
The retired educator, who died June 18, 2011, served in the Army during the Korean War and saw action at the Inchon Landing as well as Chosin Reservoir.
"For years and years they (veterans) went without any acknowledgement," Ms. Veenendaal said. "It used to really bother Daddy when they called it the 'forgotten war.'"
Service members endured extreme temperatures and little food during the war, which should never be forgotten, she said.
The women said it was comforting to attend Friday's ceremony and reunite with old friends.
"Those hats that were passed out were ones my husband ordered to be given to Korean War veterans," Mrs. Baty said. "We're seeing his life carried on."