Military Duty

Testimonies of David Apperson from his chain-of-command :

11 Nov 2013 To PFC David Apperson, a comrade in arms, sincere thanks for your service on the Korean DMZ and actions as an MP in harm's way.

John K Singlaub
Major General, US Army Retired

4 Jul 2010 During February and March of 1978, Soldiers of B Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry (Buccaneers) were manning Guard Posts (GPs) Collier and Quelette in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) along the North (nK) and South (ROK) Korean border in the vicinity of the jointly ROK/US manned Joint Security Area (JSA) at Panmunjom.

During daylight hours, Buccaneer Soldiers observed nK activities to ensure the safety of ROK/US soldiers working in the JSA. At night US Soldiers from Collier and Quelette conducted small unit (squad-sized) ambush patrols in the two-kilometer area between the MDL and the ROK southern boundary fence to interdict nK Ranger Commando teams who were trying to infiltrate the DMZ.

David Apperson was a member of B Company and participated in these operations in the bitter cold of the Korean winter, where below zero temperatures were not uncommon.

Stephen Silvasy, Jr (Major General, US Army Retired)
Commander, 1st Battalion, 32d Infantry (Buccaneers) from 1976 to 1978

Confirmation Message #1
20 Apr 2009

To: Whom it May Concern.
cc: David Wayne Apperson

From: Richard A. Kidd

As noted above, my name is Richard A. Kidd, and the reason I was asked to provide input is that I was the First Sergeant of B Company, 1/32nd Infantry (Buccaneers), 2nd Infantry Division in the Republic of Korea from April 1977 to January 1978. I served over 33 years in the US Army and retired in 1995, having served the last 4 years as the 9th Sergeant Major of the Army. I am presently a Vice President with GEICO Insurance Company.

David Apperson asked me to provide information about the responsibilities of the Camp Howze Unit Police during that time period. During that time period Camp Howze an outlining camp, was occupied by the 1/32nd Infantry Battalion and the 3rd Brigade Headquarters, 2nd Infantry Division. The closest Military Police element was approximately 40 kilometers east of Camp Howze, to the best of my memory. Thus, the camp gate security and access control were taken care of by the Unit Police. Unit Police were assigned Special Duty for normally 90 days, but some performed for less or longer periods. Because the Military Police were stationed a significant distance away, first responder duties fell upon the Unit Police until the Military Police would arrive and take responsibility.

David Apperson also wanted me to address the types of incidents that a Unit Policeman could encounter during their duties as Gate Security, Access Control, and Local Village patrols, especially as a first responder. Their duties for gate security and access control are self-explanatory. They secured the gate by controlling access and preventing any breach of the gate or perimeter in close proximity to the gate.

The easiest way to explain what they did as a first responder is to say that they assumed the same responsibilities and were involved in the same type of incidents as a Military Policeman, with a couple of differences . . . they did not have the legal authority of a Military Policeman. They were only armed with a Military Police nightstick and handcuffs . . . and they wore a pistol belt. To the best of their ability, the idea was for them to contain the situation/incident until the Military Police arrived at the scene. At times that could be an extended period; they could find themselves in very serious physical altercations --- involving thrown beer bottles, chairs, and many other things and even more serious situations such as a knife-wielding drunk.

Unit Policemen certainly could find themselves in a precarious and potentially harmful situation. There were cases of Unit Policemen being injured in the line of duty.

I hope this will be of assistance in taking care of this Soldier.

Richard A. Kidd
SMA #9, USA, Retired

Confirmation Message #2
27 July 2010

Specialist David Apperson, USA, Veteran


I can confirm that during the period of May 1977 and Feb 1978, B Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry, Third Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division did participate in the following live ammunition combat missions.

Thunderbolt Mission . . . reaction force.

DMZ duty on Guard Posts Collier and Quellette: conducting guard duty, observing post duty, and conducting combat patrols.

Special Munitions Security Mission

All of these missions are actual live ammunition . . . security combat missions. These missions are held in all types of weather, from extreme heat to sub-zero weather. And that you were a member of the Company during these missions and were a participant.

Finally, I can certainly validate (even though the statement presented by a former Battalion Commander at the time in question and ultimately retiring as a Major General) needs no validation, the information provided in his statement.

I assumed the duties of First Sergeant B Co, 1/32nd Infantry in May 1977 and departed in Feb 1978. I ultimately retired as the Ninth Sergeant Major of the Army, having served with Chief of Staff, Army General Gordon R. Sullivan, and Secretaries of the Army, Michael P.W. Stone, and Togo West in July 1995.

Richard A. Kidd
Sergeant Major of the Army (SMA #9), USA, Retired

As a law enforcement officer for over 25 years, I affirm and attest that the following information is true and accurate to the best of my recollection and belief.

I confirm in this message that PFC David W. Apperson served under my leadership as Squad Leader for Bravo Company, 1/32nd Infantry Regiment 3rd Brigade 2nd Division Camp Howze Korea 1977 - 1978 and that the following events took place:

1. PFC Apperson, while being assigned duty as a Unit Police Officer, was on duty at the camp gate when an argument started with three individuals, which resulted in a physical altercation with PFC Apperson; and

2. PFC Apperson was ordered to fire upon a squad-sized unit when we were on assignment on the DMZ; this event was due to miscommunication over passwords. The radios were jammed, and the password was misinterpreted from the unit that was conducting patrols. As the unit advanced toward the top of the hill, they were not recognized as authorized personnel without the proper password, and they were fired upon; and

3. While preparing for a parade, the order was to fix bayonets, and PFC Apperson was stabbed with a Bayonet just before our company was to perform at a military parade in Seoul, Korea. He was field-dressed, and PFC Apperson continued in the parade even though later, upon return to the main camp, when taken to the medical facility, it was determined that he needed stitches in his left arm: and

4. Our unit, while going hot at Camp Humphries, was called to the DMZ after a helicopter was shot down one mile north inside of North Korea. We were ordered to scramble since we were on the quick strike alert. We loaded up Chinooks, and orders were to set a perimeter on the down helicopter. Orders were scratched as we were hovering on the border of North Korea; the co-pilot was captured, so our mission was canceled; and

5. Another incident with a downed helicopter occurred while doing maneuvers. After one week in the field, the Huey helicopter that was bringing us hot meals crashed in a valley, and we were assigned to set a perimeter around that helicopter until relieved by investigators; and

6. As demonstrated by the examples above, duty with the 1/32nd Infantry regiment was at times very dangerous. Our duties included many situations where death or severe injury could occur at any time.

Respectfully submitted,

Carlos Loya,
US Army Staff Sergeant

An old Jewish proverb states he who saves a life saves the world.

David Apperson saved my life!

Jose J. Melendez Ruiz
C Company, 1st Batt 32nd Inf Reg, 2nd Inf Div

In 2013 David Apperson, a DMZ veteran, who understands the Weight of the Badge, was honored for his military service as a face of freedom by congressman Pete Sessions of the State of Texas.

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