PTC Veterans Day Speaker Authored Book on Experiences Behind Enemy Lines

Tue, 11/03/2009 - 5:16pm
By: The Citizen

Retired Army Colonel Ben Malcom, author of “White Tigers – My Secret War in North Korea,” will be guest speaker at the Peachtree City Veterans Day event on Saturday, Nov. 7th, 10 a.m. at the new Falcon Field Veterans Memorial.

The Monroe, Georgia native is credited in Armed Forces circles as helping lay the foundation for today’s special operations forces. In “White Tigers” he gives details about now-declassified combat operations with South Korean partisans behind enemy lines.

In the book he reveals that there were 22,000 North Korean guerrillas operating behind the lines in North Korea being led and supplied by U.S. Special Forces and the CIA. This operation was classified Top Secret 40 years ago and was down-graded to unclassified in 1990. “White Tigers” was published in 1996. The memoir goes behind the scenes of the Korean War and connects the OSS (Office of Strategic Services, WWII) and Special Forces (1952).

In his 29-year Army career he led soldiers from platoon to brigade level and completed his tour on home soil at Fort McPherson. Among his awards and decorations he earned the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Combat Infantryman’s Badge and four Legions of Merit. He speaks across the nation about 25 times per year and teaches classes at the John F. Kennedy Special Forces School, Fort Bragg, N.C.

This year’s event will be at the brand new Falcon Field Veterans Memorial park. Mounted on a pedestal above the plaza is an F-16A Fighting Falcon. The plane was donated to Peachtree City on Dec. 23, 1998 by the U.S. Air Force.

Four local veteran’s organizations and the Peachtree City government will co-host the annual remembrance Saturday, Nov. 7th, 10 a.m. The City staff will join members of VFW Post 9949, American Legion Posts 50 and 105 and the Clyde Thomason detachment of the Marine Corps League to present the first patriotic event to be held at the new Falcon Field memorial since it was dedicated this September 26th.

The event will include honors to the flag. The National Anthem will be sung acappella by Lindee Link, a local 14-year old singer and song writer. A Commemorative wreath will be presented and remain at the Memorial for the day. Taps will be played in honor of all veterans who have died.

Light refreshments will be available. Call the PTC Recreation Department at 770-631-2542 for more information.

Veterans Day is an opportunity to publicly commemorate the contributions of living veterans and remember the sacrifices of those who have died. Originally called Armistice Day, it officially received its name in America in 1926 through a congressional resolution. It became a national holiday 12 years later by similar congressional action.

If World War I had been "the war to end all wars," November 11 might be still called Armistice Day. Realizing that peace was equally preserved by veterans of World War II and Korea, Congress decided to make the day an occasion to honor all those who have served America. In 1954 President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day. (Historically, the first Veterans Day parade was held in 1953 in Emporia, Kansas.)

A law passed in 1968 changed the national commemoration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. It soon became apparent, however, that November 11 was a date of historic significance to many Americans. Therefore, in 1978 Congress returned the observance to its traditional date.

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