For years, Korean War veteran Betty Perkins-Carpenter kept old wartime photos in envelopes in a file cabinet, but now those pictures are part of a project which aims to connect veterans and their families with snapshots taken during the conflict, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle
Through photographs, the Defense Department documented the first few months of the Korean War. The war itself lasted from 1950 to 1953, and 5.7 million Americans served.
Eventually, 138 of those photos landed in the hands of Perkins-Carpenter, 83, an Air Force veteran who now lives in Penfield, N.Y., and she wanted to find a way to pass on the original photos.
"The thing about these pictures is, that's when most of our men were killed, right there at the beginning of the war," Perkins-Carpenter told The Military Times.
"It's so important to get these out. Some of these people spend a whole lifetime trying to find out what happened to [members of] their families," she said.
The photos are now hosted on a website, Snapshots from the Korean War
, which was launched on July 27 to commemorate the 1953 ceasefire that marked the end of hostilities.
Arthur Sharp, editor of the online magazine The Graybeards, told the Democrat & Chronicle that the project is special to have actual photos so easily available.
"It's special because, relatively speaking, actual photos taken and released by the Department of Defense are scarce," Sharp said.
Perkins-Carpenter, who is a member of the Monroe County chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association, received the pictures from Brenda Clattenburg, who found them in her deceased father's possessions and turned them over to the association.
The war veteran, who trained soldiers in water safety during the war, set about tracking down the individuals in the photos, a journey which would be featured on a local news story.
Tiana Stephens saw the story and also recognized her grandfather in one of the photos.
In a YouTube account of the project's genesis, Stephens says she met up with Perkins-Carpenter and confirmed the man in the photo she had seen on television was her grandfather.
Story continues below video.
After meeting with Perkins-Carpenter, Stephens said she wanted to help connect more families with photos by putting them online.
"Betty and I talked about what we could do to make this happen, and I was able to eventually connect with Chuck Rudd at Kodak Alaris and a wonderful team of experts who were just as excited as Betty and I about the project. Kodak Alaris found a way to safely scan the pristine collection of glossy black and white 8x10 photos — nearly 200 of them — front and back," she wrote on Kodak's 1000words blog
When the Democrat & Chronicle caught wind of her efforts, it teamed up with Kodak Alaris to digitally scan the photos that were taken in June, July, and August of 1950. The photos include captions with dates, hometowns, and names of the veterans.
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