Brothers who joined the army on the same day during the Korean War and died in the line of duty have been belatedly awarded the Order of Merit together in more than 70 years later.
On Wednesday, the South Korean army announced that it presented the Hwarang Order of Military Merit to the Ahn Seok-yeol and Ahn Seok-gil brothers, who died in Gimhwa County, Gangwon Province during the Korean War, on last Thursday to their nephew, Ms. Ahn Bong-soon. The Ahn brothers enlisted on March 13, 1952, just three days after they got married in a joint wedding. Their military service numbers were “8807115” and “8807116,” with only one digit difference. The brothers assigned to the same unit and the same base.
The brothers died in the line of duty in Wondeok-myeon area; older brother Seok-yeol died in September 1952 and the younger brother Seok-gil in July 1953. The Ahn brothers were selected as the awardees of the Order of Merit for recognition of their merits during the battle. However, the badges were not delivered to the bereaved families due to postwar confusion.
The ROK Army Personal Command’s committee for finding soldiers for awards of their meritorious service during the Korean War ascertained that the two men, whose family name and the first letter of their names were identical, served in the same unit and that there was only one digit difference in their service numbers, and subsequently confirmed that they were brothers based on the military registration record table. The Committee searched the brothers’ bereaved families and delivered the Order of Merit to their nephew. “My grandmother told me that my uncles served in the Korean War and died in the line of duty,” Ms. Ahn said. “I am thankful that my country remembers the sacrifice of those who fought and died for their countries.”
Kyu-Jin Shin firstname.lastname@example.org