The journey to the Mundung-ni valley was disorienting and ominous as Tony was bucked around on narrow Korean roads in blackout conditions. It was January 1953, and the winter chill cut through every gap in the vehicle he rode in, and he burrowed further into his field jacket.
The light of morning illuminated the position that he had been delivered to under darkness. For miles around him, barren ridges stripped of vegetation faded into the distance. In his immediate surroundings were the dwellings of Headquarters Company, 2d Battalion, 179th Infantry - square bunkers built of stacked sandbags with log roofs, set into the hills and connected by trenches that laces through the hard earth. For more than a year, this would be home.
Months of peace talks did nothing to subdue the fighting in 1953. The line was stagnant except for a coveted hill occasionally of interest to both sides, ensuing in more bloodshed until the very last day on July 27. The cessation of hostilities was a huge relief for Tony, but he knew his time in Korea would continue until he earned enough points to return home. The journey home finally came in April the next year when he carried the 45th Division's Colors back the United States.
Years after the war, Anthony Torsiello married my Pepére's sister. They are a wonderful and generous couple and I am proud to have these wonderful items from my Uncle's time in Korea.