Marine veteran shares 'why' of war
Buffalo Grove man part of new book

George Krug isn't afraid to give his opinion, so when he saw an advertisement asking why Marines fight for their country, the Buffalo Grove resident set to work to answer the question.

Krug's response, along with about 40 others', is part of the new book "Why Marines Fight" by New York author and Parade magazine columnist James Brady.

The book was released just in time for the Marines' 232nd birthday this Saturday and Veterans Day on Sunday.

Krug was active with the Marines during the Korean War in 1952 and 1953. He was also on reserve for an additional six years.

"I had an experience that changed my life completely," Krug said. "I made some of my best friends; I lost some of my best friends."

Krug was on duty with Fox 2-5, or the 2nd squad, 1st platoon, Fox Company, 2nd battalion, 5th Marine regiment. Fox 2-5 protected a line of the Samichon Valley in August 1952.

He remembers the 12 men he was responsible for when he was promoted to corporal and became a squad leader. Krug still sees those who are alive at annual reunions. In fact, he's planning this year's reunion in Springfield.

They all fought in an assault on a Chinese outpost, and Krug can detail the injuries: one man lost a leg, another a hand and four were wounded.

"Why did these men fight?" Krug wrote in his letter to Brady. "The answer to this question is simple: We were ordinary people molded into Marines."

Brady, who himself fought in Korea in 1951 and 1952, said he found similar answers when he talked to former and current Marines throughout the nation.

"Mostly it came down to in the end: I fought for the guy in the next hole," Brady said. "I fought for the guy to the right of me and to the left of me."

Brady said of the five questions he asked Marines, the most revealing answers came from "What did you become after the guns fell silent?"

Krug said he came back to America and started working and returning to a routine with the help of his wife.

"My wife went through hell with me for the first 10 years," he said. "I went into silent modes for days and weeks."

Just a few years ago, he dreamt that he was in a bunny hole and heard guns and grenades going off. As he ran, Krug ended up in his living room and saw that neighbors were shooting off fireworks.

However, he doesn't regret serving his country. The regret he has is not staying behind with the Fox Company when he had a chance to go home in 1953.

"I always remember what I was doing in the Marines; it never leaves you," he said.