U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Cpl. Ronald L. Burbridge, who served in the Korean War, will take the podium in a Veteran's Day program Nov. 8 at 10 a.m. in the auditorium of the Pauline Joyce Fine Arts Center at Garden City Community College.
Sponsored by the Brookover Lecture Series and the GCCC Student Government Association, the program is free and open to the public.
Burbridge joined the Marine Corps in 1948 and served as part of the 2nd Platoon, Baker Company 1st Batallion, 7th Regiment 1st Marine Division. Between Nov. 27 and Dec. 13, 1950, Burbridge took part in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir, a decisive battle in the Korean War. During the brutal 17-day battle in freezing weather, 15,000 Allied ground troops were encircled by 120,000 Communist Chinese and North Korean troops. Although surrounded and outnumbered, the Allied forces inflicted crippling losses to the Chinese and North Korean troops. Burbridge and his Marine Company fought in temperatures of 40 to 50 degrees below zero. The Allied forces broke out of the encirclement and retreated to the port of Hungnam.
Out of the 240 members of his company, only 28 men walked away from the battle. The others were killed or wounded. Burbidge was one of the wounded. He was just 22 during the time of the battle. He was discharged from the Marines in 1953 but he remains a Marine at heart.