THOMAS RIDENOUR COLLECTION
So far way, so long ago, so etched in our memory ...
Some don't understand, but you and I know.
We could depend on on each other,
we took care of each other.
Our trust in one another was absolute,
even if it meant personal sacrifice.
We shared experiences and emotions
that can never be expressed with words.
You just had to be there.
It seems like a lifetime ago. Hell, it was a lifetime ago when I heard the words "Imjin Scout". I heard those words often and they became a part of my life for one year. "Imjin Scout" just stopped the day I stepped off the plane, Gone...like it never happened. For thirty-five years those words rolled around in my head reminding me of the freezing nights, scared like I had never been scared before.
This site is about Imjin Scouts, but, I dedicate this space, especially, to the Scouts that attended Advanced Combat Training Academy at Camp Sitman, I've heard a lot about the requirements to become a Scout and all I heard was "what school". I can assure you there was a school!!! During the 1960's the army had only two schools that operated in hostile areas. One was Recondo School in Vietnam and the other was Imjin School, Korea. To finish either one of these schools you had to pull combat patrols as well as undergo three weeks of intensive training. At that time Scout School was considered to represent the 2nd Div. Ranger training and was often spoken of as such.
When I returned to the States I was made a VIP driver. One day I went to pick up an officer with stars on his shoulders. I was told by his little lieutenant just to drive and not talk. When I opened the door for this officer, he hit me on my patch and said boldly "did they kick the crap out of you there, boy?" I replied, yes, sir, they did!! The lieutenant never got to speak the whole way back to the base!!! It was all about Imjin Scouts. Pissed that lieutenant off!!
Now that I have met Scouts like Don Lopez, John Putt III, and many others who have worn the patch proudly, I feel it's important that we gather our history. For thirty-five years I've been alone. I am not alone now.