“It Wasn’t A Hero Thing, It Was A Twin Thing”: A Korean War Combat Medic

Tony Bezouska


Tony Bezouska and his twin brother, Tom, were drafted in 1951, and they attended basic training at Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky and Airborne School before being assigned to the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team. They served in both Japan and Korea, helping put down the Koje-Do prison riot. Their unit had a shortage of trained medics, and because Tom and Tony had medical training due to their Boy Scout experience, they both became combat medics. Both Tony and Tom were wounded on the same date, but not seriously. After returning from the Korean War, Tony suffered from post-traumatic stress, but by becoming involved with the National Rakkasan Association, he has been able to work through some of his issues. Both Tom and Tony have remained very involved with the Scouting program throughout their lives. In this interview, Tony speaks for both himself and Tom, who was unable to attend the reunion due to health issues. He describes their experiences during training and their deployment to Korea. He talks about the difficulties of providing aid to close friends, and how he was relieved if the wounded Soldier was a stranger. He even recounts treating a Soldier who was severely wounded and not knowing if he survived until they encountered each other at a regimental reunion years later (see Ervin Wicklander’s interview). Finally, he discusses dealing with post-traumatic stress, and the importance of the Boy Scouts.


conflicts Korean War
topics Camaraderie Courage Injuries Military Techniques Morale Mountain Combat P.O.W.s PTSD Teamwork Wartime Decisions Military Medicine
interviewer David Siry
date 16 September 2016


name Tony Bezouska
service Infantry / Medic
unit L Co and Med Co, 3rd Battalion, 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team
service dates 1951 1954