Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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July 7, 2013

VETERANS PROFILE: Military service opened up new world for Don and Lyle Burtsfield

(Continued)

GOSHEN —

Lyle’s service

For Lyle, his service with the military began in 1954 with his entry into the Army.

“I was 21 at the time,” Lyle said. “I volunteered for the draft. There were about six or seven of us from the area that went in at the same time.”

After making it through basic training in Missouri, Lyle left for South Korea in the fall of 1954, spending his first six months in Pusan before being transferred to Seoul. With the armistice having been signed in 1953, South Korea was in a period of reconstruction at the time of Lyle’s arrival in the county.

“I was a heavy equipment mechanic,” Lyle said. “The outfit I was in, they built roads and stuff, and we took care of the equipment so they could do that.”

Due to his arrival after the armistice, Lyle was fortunate never to have encountered any fighting during his military service.

“The fighting was over when I got there, so it wasn’t all bad,” Lyle said. “It was still not good up at the 38th Parallel (the division between North and South Korea), but where we was at, it was pretty decent. It wasn’t like home, of course, but we made due with what we had.”

Lyle’s military service officially ended in January 1956, a month after his anticipated discharge date of December 1955.

“We were supposed to come back in December, but they ended up sending a bunch of Koreans home so they could see how Christmas was here in the states,” Lyle said. “So we stayed over in Korea for another month, and they got to come home.”

Looking back now at his time in the military, Lyle said he’s proud of his time spent in the Army and thankful of the experience.

“I’m glad I went,” Lyle said. “There was no fighting when I was there, so it wasn’t too bad of a deal. Even if I’d had to go earlier, though, I’d probably have went anyway. But it worked out all right in the end.”

Today both Don and Lyle live within a mile of each other along C.R. 44.

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