East Tennessee Marine Bill Roberts is one of a group of veterans from the war in Korea known as, "The Chosin Few."
"I was walking on my heels. I had no feeling in my feet," said Mr. Roberts. He fought for almost two weeks in temperatures that dipped to minus fifty. The same group of troops also earned the nickname, "The Frozen Chosin."
At age 20, Mr. Roberts was in the Marine Reserves when he received the call to head to Korea. He never expected the world to see another war. Nor could he imagine he would see combat. But Mr. Roberts would end up fighting in a battle that became one of the most decorated in American history. The battle at Chosin Reservoir in Korea saw US troops surrounded and outnumbered eight to one.
In our on-camera interview Mr. Roberts talks about that fight. In addition, he took time to answer 10 questions below offering another perspective on his life before, during, and after his military service.
1. What one person influenced you most in life?
My wife. We've been married for 62 years and that says enough.
2. Do you feel honored and respected for serving your country?
Absolutely. I volunteered. I was in the reserves. People do honor my service with compliments.
3. How can people thank you for your service?
Just say, "I appreciate your service," if they feel moved. That's it.
4. How do you honor your fellow service men and women?
I'm very patriotic. If I see them in uniform I will take time to thank them for their service.
5. How do you think this generation of service men and women is different or similar to yours?
That's a tough question. They volunteered and they are doing their part and I'm proud of every one of them.
6. What influence did your military service have on the rest of your life?
It taught me to be loyal. It think it helped me be honest in business and working my way through life and raising my family.
7. Does your family have a history of military service?
No. Dad was too old for World War II.
8. Would you encourage younger generations in your family to join the service?
That would be a personal deal for them. If they volunteered I would back them all the way. There is no such thing as a good war and I want no part of it.
9. How has your opinion of war changed or has it?
Having volunteered for the reserves after World War II I thought that was the war to end all wars. It hasn't changed. I don't want to have war. I don't want our young men and women to have to go through what I went through.
10. How did your military experience shape your faith?
My faith was strong when I went in. I went in saying I wasn't worried about coming back. I never lost faith that I would be back.