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A Raz Autry Story Raz and Moose
Uncle Raz in college
Uncle Raz In College

Raz came to visit me when I was stationed in Korea. He always loved the military and was proud of his time in both the Navy and the Marines. He would attend reunions of his old Marine Unit on Guadalcanal.

To his credit, he always had a philosophy that war was war and once over, all is forgiven. He wouldn’t dwell on war even though he had seen some of the worst of it. He once told me, One of his reunion pals was not so forgiving. The friend lived in AZ and helped organize the 4th of July parade in Bisbee at which he refused to allow a Japanese made auto in the parade. Raz would smile and say, “That is a bit much, don’t you think.”

Raz always loved the TV show MASH and was thrilled to discover that Camp Red Cloud, South Korea where I was stationed, was used as a setting in the show. There actually was a 4077 MASH (later became 43 Mash) and I took him to see.

I had a Korean Chaplain’s Assistant. Hwan UN nicknamed Moose. We called him Moose because he was big, over 6 feet tall and strong as an ox. He was this really great youngster who was serving his time in the military. Korea has conscription and every male must serve in the military at some time.

Raz had several discussions with many of my fellow officers. One day after a heated discussion with a major, Raz interjected: “If the South Korean Army are so good ,which I believe they are, why do we need 40,000 Americans stationed here.” I smile today because it was typical Raz behavior to ask questions, particularly those that might challenge common sense. Moose, was an example of the toughness of the ROC (Republic of Korea) soldier. They had one exercise that young soldiers had to do: run barefoot through the snow-no shoes, no socks, nothing; the purpose was to display toughness.

Moose endeared himself to Raz. Moose desperately wanted to come to America to study. Raz sponsored Moose and helped him get accepted at the Methodist College in Fayetteville.

Raz told me this funny story: He said to Moose, “Why don’t you think about going to San Francisco and live with Jerry for awhile.” Raz knew there was a vibrant Korean community in San Francisco. According to Raz, Moose got kind of quiet and then he said, “Uncle Raz, that would be nice but here is what you’ve got to think about. If I go to San Francisco, I’ll be just another Korean. If I stay at Methodist College, I am a big deal.” Raz just cracked up.




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