The experiences of Black men and women in the military during the Korean Conflict; World War II and Vietnam as told by 31 narratives was revealed in the documentary “The Veterans of Color” at the AFI Theatre in Silver Spring, Maryland. Dr. Bernard and Lois Watson interviewed these veterans about their struggles, triumphs, humiliation and segregation both during active duty and civilian life after serving. Current and former military were recognized for their sacrifice to keep this country free. The group I gravitated to the most was the 2nd Ranger Infantry Company, that served in Korea between December 1950 and May 1951. The 2nd Ranger Company was the only Black unit to jump (Airborne)in Korea. I first learned about this unit from my father-in-law. He was friends with one of the members in attendance. Herculano Dias of Savage, Maryland said the special training the 2nd Rangers received was rough but they did not want to fail. Dias was joined on this night by fellow 2nd Ranger Company members Paul Lyles and Winston Jackson of Washington, D.C. These members didn’t get the recognition that the Tuskegee Airmen experienced, but they did get to combat jump. The unit received more than 100 Purple Hearts, 9 Silver Stars and 12 Bronze Stars. Dias proudly displayed one medal that was partially made up from barbed wire from the demilitarized zone in Korea. The documentary “Veterans of Color” is available to purchase. It is a must see for family and friends as a reminder of the men and women who served so brilliantly.

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