The Korean War is often referred to as “the forgotten war” among the veterans who served in the conflict between 1950 and 1953.

With more than 5 million Americans serving in the 37-month struggle to protect South Korea from the communist invasion, 36,519 American troops were killed, 103,284 were wounded and 8,177 are listed as missing in action.

A new program being launched in Ellis County schools is striving to make the sacrifices of these men and women “the forgotten war no more.”

The Korean War Veterans Association has created the Tell America Program that enables the organization to partner with schools allowing Korean War veterans to visit with students, talk about the history of the war and share their experiences.

“It’s truly a wonderful program,” said William Hoyle, judge advocate for the Korean War Veterans Association Post 215 in Fort Worth.

Hoyle’s most recent mission is to expand the program into Ellis County, where he is a resident.

“It’s really important for our children to learn about the Korean War,” Hoyle said, noting that while the conflict only lasted 37 months, it was one of the most bloodiest wars in American history while having a major impact on global events that followed.

“The Korean War doesn’t get a lot of attention in the history books,” said Hoyle, a Korean War veteran who served in the Marine Corps.

For participating classrooms, Hoyle said veterans arrive at the school dressed in uniform. In addition to showing a short DVD that explains the history of the war, the veterans answer questions from students, often sharing personal experiences from their time in the service.

“It’s educational and moving and the students get a lot of the visits,” he said.

Hoyle said Korean War Veterans Association will be presenting an overview of the Tell America Program during the March 9 Waxahachie ISD school board meeting, requesting permission to launch the program with any WISD classroom that would like to participate.

“But the program is open to any school in Ellis County — public, private, parochial or homeschool,” Hoyle stressed. “The whole purpose o the program is to to reach as many students as possible so our war is ‘forgotten no more.’”

For more information on the Korean War Veterans Association Tell America Program, or to arrange for a presentation, contact William Hoyle at 972-937-4528.

E-mail Neal at neal.white@wninews.com.