The Foxhole: Spotlight on Frank Dunn

Dunn
Korean War veteran Frank Dunn has been a member of American Legion Post 86 in Wilton, for 15 years.

Frank Dunn is the longtime Post 86 chaplain. Born in Flushing, N.Y., he grew up in College Point, N.Y.

In January 1955, Frank enlisted in the U.S. Army right out of high school. A major benefit from this decision, was being eligible for the GI Bill before it expired. Basic and advanced infantry training was at Ft. Dix, N.J. From there he was shipped to Ft. Benning, Ga., home of the infantry. While there, he was interviewed for Officer Candidate School, but Frank declined, wanting to attend college after completing his three-year service.

Stationed at Ft. Benning, Frank volunteered for duty overseas and he was shipped to Inchon, Korea, via Yokohama, Japan. Immediately upon arrival in Korea, just south of the Demilitarized Zone, (DMZ), warning sirens blared, and Frank’s introduction to Korea was three days in a foxhole awaiting a possible attack from the North.

Frank volunteered for the military police (MP) and was assigned to the 21st Infantry Regimental MPs. His post was an hour north of Seoul, two miles south of the DMZ. His duties included 20 miles of patrol area, 13 villages, performing patrol duties, checking areas that were mined during/after the war and responding to any threats to security.

Frank recalls rescuing a GI stuck on an ice floe in the middle of a cold winter’s night. However, to get to the riverbank, he had to navigate a minefield. He finally found the excitement for which he was looking!

Christmas found the soldiers creating makeshift decorations, including using shaving cream on the Christmas trees.

While on leave in Korea, Frank managed to visit some parts of Japan, especially enjoying their beautifully manicured public gardens. Although the weather could be a challenge, Frank remembers his service overseas fondly, having met some good friends. He still meets up with a couple of them to this day.

After completing his service, Frank attended Fordham University at night while working full-time at the American Can Company, international department. Graduating with a B.S. in marketing, he worked his way up to export sales manager at the James River Company. While traveling for business, he traveled to the Middle East and Iran and the U.S. embassy there. The day he left, Nov. 4, 1979, Iranian students forcibly took over the embassy.

Retiring in November 1995, Frank has been married to his lovely wife Claire for 58 years and together they have four children: Doreen, Patricia, Father Michael and Steven and five granddaughters.

He joined Post 86 in 2004, where he has been an active member for 15 years. After serving as Sgt.-at-Arms and finance officer for the post, Frank has settled comfortably into his duties as post chaplain. He has also taken on the task of retrieving the flag collection box in front of the post and inspecting them for our annual flag retirement ceremony. Frank can be seen walking the downtown almost every day, with a big smile. Thank you for your service, Frank!

Tom Moore is adjutant at Charles Whipple American Legion Post 86 on Old River Road. Contact: legionpost86@gmail.com.

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