Tag Archive: Korean War Veteran

In Memoriam: Ernest H. Luke Sr. USMC-China, USA Korea

Pvt. E.H. Luke, USMC, China, 1946

Ernest H. (Ernie) Luke, Sr, the brother-in-law of Post Commander Mike Denton was buried next to Mike’s sister Karen on July 9, in Kennewick, WA. Military honors were rendered by a Marine Corps contingent and by Kennewick VFW Post 5785. He was 89 years old.

Three weeks prior to his death, he was awarded the Korean Peace Medal by the Korean Consul General along with other Korea Vets in a ceremony in Richland.

Luke enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of 17 and served in China at the end of WWII and later in the army on MacArthur’s staff in Korea.

Ernest H. Luke Sr. USMC-China, USA Korea

The service of the Marines in China at the end of the war is not well known, but involved receiving the surrender of Japanese forces remaining and protecting those troops from communist forces. A detailed history can be found via this link. http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/usmchist/nochina.txt

Originally from Kentucky, Luke attended college on the GI Bill, receiving a degree in Physics (later a masters degree) and worked in avionics design with Boeing & Rockwell, and more recently in security systems design at Hanford, where he retired. He leaves his third wife Verla, and the children of Karen and Verla to whom he was step-father, as well as his own three children, Ernest Jr, Susan and David.

Ernest H. Luke Sr. USMC-China, USA Korea

Purple Heart Night at the Mariners: Our Own Phil Sacks Throws Out First Pitch

Purple Heart Night at the Mariners: Our Own Phil Sacks Throws Out First Pitch

Korean War veteran, Purple Heart recipient and Post 8870 member Phil Sacks had the honor of throwing out the first pitch on Monday night, Aug. 10, as the Seattle Mariners took on the Baltimore Orioles.

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Phil served in the US Army, 9t Infantry Regiment of the 2nd Infantry Division. Serving in Korea, the division was trying to take the aptly-named Heartbreak Ridge, when shrapnel from an enemy artillery barrage tore into his back and took him out of the war.

He received his Purple Heart while recovering in the Osaka, Japan Army hospital, where the large numbers of wounded meant that there wasn’t much ceremony involved. “Some officer in a uniform walked by my bed with a box of Purple Hearts, handed me one, and moved on to the next recipient,” he said. “I was kinda woozy, and didn’t fully realize what was going on till after he left my bedside.”

After the war, Sacks enrolled in Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute under the G.I. Bill. He graduated in 1958 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He worked for several employers, ultimately retiring from Lockheed in 1995. He moved to Edmonds the next year. He was quick to get involved in his community, and soon began volunteering with the Edmonds Police Department’s neighborhood crime watch program.

Purple Heart Night at the Mariners: Our Own Phil Sacks Throws Out First PitchSacks was the second Purple Heart recipient to toss out a pitch at a Mariners’ game (last year it was a WWII vet). The event is timed to coincide with date George Washington instituted the Purple Heart, then called the Badge of Military Merit, and awarded it to three Revolutionary War soldiers on Aug. 7, 1782.

“It’s a great honor to be invited to do this,” Sacks said the day before the game. He then added with a grin, “but my right arm has been giving me some trouble the past few years, so I’m not sure my pitch will make it to home plate.” But when game time came, Sacks’ arm was in fine form. Standing between the mound and home, he gave it a nice, easy toss right to the plate where it was caught by Mariners’ pitcher Taijuan Walker.

Excerpted form MyEdmonds news.com article written By Larry Vogel