ALBERTVILLE, Ala. - June 25, 1950 through July 27, 1953. - that's how long American soldiers were overseas fighting in the Korean War.
"They call it the forgotten war, but I'm not sure how they could do that because we had somewhere around 50,000 that got killed over there," said Joe Maddox, a veteran of the Korean War.
Joe Maddox was one of the thousands of Americans who served; Maddox was drafted when he was 21 years old and served for three years in the Army - and he thanks God every day that he got to come home to his loved ones.
"They sent us home," Maddox explained. "A lot of them didn't come back, but I thank the Lord that I was one that came back. I lost good friends over there. I had one real good buddy and he got killed and that really hurt me."
Last month, as a token of appreciation for their service, the Republic of Korea awarded Maddox and dozens of Alabamian veterans with the Korean War Veterans Ambassador of Peace Medal.
Maddox says this award means everything to him and he'll pass it down through his family so they can all remember the sacrifice that he and every other solider made - and what it means.
"That's what we're fighting for - to keep our country free and I thank God for letting us do that," Maddox stated.
Maddox says even though it took 65 years to get it, this award reassures him that no one has forgotten the sacrifice that was made in Korea.