Do it again

Korean War veteran William Larry O’Brien shares service experience


Jade Owens

Korean War veteran William Larry O’Brien talks with reporters Suvwe Kokoricha and Lindsey Hughes.

At home, Sergeant First Class, William Larry O’Brien works to complete a tower of pictures portraying moments of the “biggest part” of his military service in Bangkok, Thailand. 

O’Brien served on the United Nations forces during the Korean war, working in the medical field in areas in Asia and the United States.

He was assigned to work with the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, helping doctors take care of children in the communities; he did this not for him, but for the people and children in those communities

He is unsure of why he remembers places, assignments and people he met, but he knows that he always will. He still remains in contact with many of those “very, very, very good friends,” but many are gone.

In his final assignment at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington, United States, he spent 10 years developing vaccines for American troops. He finds himself proud that they did develop a vaccine for Dengue fever, something he enjoyed doing so much that he says he would go back to do again.

In his high school days, people did not support veterans as compared to those in his more recent years. He wonders if the reason was that the people simply did not want to fight. Despite this, he still feels blessed for the support from his family.

He says “you can not know, just how much-,” and stops as tears start to fill his eyes, then proceeds to say a quieter “thank you.”

During his time spent in the United Nations forces in Korea, he met “beautiful” people from many foreign countries. In regards to his time in service, he says “I will do it, do it, and do it again if I can.”

He appreciates the backing and support of the American people. “In the service, it’s the greatest,” he says. He says that the service allowed him to make friends that he will never forget, though some of them don’t come home.