They Came Home: Korean War POWs Tell Their Stories

By Pat McGrath Avery
Branson Creek Press
ISBN: 0-9743758-6-1

Pat Avery believes that ‘Support Our Troops’ isn’t just a car magnet shaped like a ribbon. To her it’s a commitment that doesn’t end when a war ends. “They Came Home” records the stories of those who went to war in Korea over fifty years ago. Her goal was to ensure that we remember their sacrifices and take care of our living veterans in a manner appropriate to their service. Whether or not any of us agree with the reasons for war, it is our duty, she posits, to know about what happened.

After providing the reader with a quick background of the conflict, this book focuses on the personal experiences of three Korean War POWs – Billy Joe Harris, Ed Slater and Carey Weinel. While everyone knows about Iwo Jima, Omaha Beach and the Battle of the Bulge, few but the most avid military historians are familiar with the Sunchon Tunnel or Taejon Massacres. Only a few veterans can close their eyes and tell what it was like fighting to protect the Pusan perimeter. Passionate about making sure that future generations appreciate the enormity of what happened in Korea, Pat Avery writes with grim candor about the violence, horror and fear suffered by these men when they were mere boys. However like all war stories, “They Came Home” is also about courage, hope and love.

Make no mistake, this is no Danielle Steele romance. Those captured in foreign soil and imprisoned by an enemy caught up in the fever of war endure barbarities that are hard to imagine. This book will appeal to those who were there, those who waited at home and to those who weren’t born yet. It’s an extraordinary piece of drama – and history that ought not be forgotten.