Sgt. Peter Patete
by Dorothy Antonelli
Supporting: Family Remembrances - Korean & Cold War POW/MIAs for Coalition of Families of Korean & Cold War POW/MIAs
Sgt. Peter Patete
Sgt. Peter Patete as my only maternal uncle. I never knew him because he enlisted in the United States Army in 1947 at the tender age of 17. I was born in August 1953. He was a member of the 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, Company F, 2nd Battalion. While growing up I learned about my uncle Peter through stories told by relatives, and by reading the many letters he wrote home to his adoring Mother and his sister, Marie – his only sibling. Those letters are now bound in a book that I read from time to time. They are touching letters of his experiences during the Korean War in 1950. They describe the sadness he felt for the South Korean civilians whose lives were torn apart by the war as their country was destroyed.
As for our military personnel who fought in the Korean War, my uncle described the freezing temperatures the soldiers endured, sometimes as low as 40 degrees below zero, and the mountainous terrain he and his unit had to climb while defending their position near Kunu-Ri when the Communist Chinese crossed the border into North Korea and initiated a vicious attack.
In my mind I could imagine the fear my uncle must have felt, the bitter cold he endured, the shock of seeing his buddies dying next to him, the strange sounds of loud whistles and bugles as waves of Chinese soldiers outnumbered and surrounded the 2nd Infantry Division, with no way out. I needed to know more about this brave man, my uncle Peter.
I began to attend the annual Government briefings in Washington, DC and a few local briefings as well, in the hope of finding answers to so many questions surrounding the circumstances of the MIA status of my uncle Peter. I became a member of several Korean War organizations, submitted articles for publication in magazines, and talked with several Korean War veterans I met along the journey. I also built a library of related books and DVDs. I was hungry for any information I could find about Sgt. Peter Patete.
Our family awaits the day when we will receive that long awaited telephone call that our loved one’s remains have been found and identified. It is getting harder for us to accept that we are still waiting after all these years. Our family will never give up hope.
Sgt. Peter Patete is survived by 5 nieces and nephews, 10 great-nieces and nephews, 13 great-great-nieces and nephews, and several cousins. My brother and his son are both named Peter, in memory of our dear uncle.
I feel a spiritual connection to my uncle Peter. He is with me every day, and the trip to South Korea in 2019 will bring me that much closer to him as I stand close to the DMZ overlooking the mountains in North Korea, where my uncle is lying in a temporary resting place until he is brought home for an honorable military burial on U. S soil.
Thank you for this opportunity to share our family story.
The Coalition is excited to present Family Remembrances - Korean & Cold War POW/MIAs. These single page websites are ways for families to honor their missing loved ones and broaden awareness of the mission to learn answers to the missing men's fate.
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