Shortly after his unfortunate attempt to smear House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Irvine, OJ publisher Zorro, er, Art Pedroza, met up with Irvine council member Steven Choi to interview Choi about his assembly race.Â Pedroza’s support of Choi has more to do with the fact we don’t care for Choi more so than Art’s support of Choi’s political positions.Â But one of the items that emerged from the OJ post which was later changed was a claim from Art that Choi fought alongside American troops in the DMZ during the Korean War.Â Which would have made Choi six or nine years old at the time.
So we paid a visit to Choi’s website and did email the Councilman’s fundraiserÂ asking about his service in the South Korean military.Â There’s no mention of Choi’s military background on his website.Â Frankly, I find it odd for a Republican not to mention any military service.Â Look at Chuck DeVore’s mulitple references to his own miliary experience.Â Dana Roharbacher evaded the draft but is as hawkish as can be.Â Vice President Cheney is famous for having other priorities during Vietnam.
The fundraiser then referred me to Dr. Choi’s email address and I wrote him asking about this clear lack of information.Â Â He accused me of writing posts about him using “false facts and reasoning.”Â I’d appreciate Dr. Choi pointing out any error in any of my posts aboutÂ him.
So, by copying me on anÂ email to his fundraiser, I have this portrait of Dr. Choi’s service in the South Korean military, rewritten from his email since he never replied to my request to republish his email.Â Â That email exchange was in February, and I’ve been meaning to get to this post forever, but other things kept popping up.
Choi was commissioned as an Artillery Second Lieutenant in February of 1966 and deployed to the 3rd Infantry Division, known as Baekgol Boodae – Skeleton Division in Chulwon, Kangwondo, which was defending the DMZ area directlyÂ facing the North Korean Communist soldiers. Choi served “by the DMZ lines” as an Observation Post Officer monitoring the daily movements of the North Korean solders via high power telescopes. When hostilities occured, Choi couldÂ order firing of 105 millimeter howitzer guns to shoot the North Korean soliders.Â At the end of June, 1968, ChoiÂ was honorably discharged to the Reserve Force.
Was that so tough?Â Choi plans to author a book about his experience in the Korean War (maybe he and DeVore can get together on a sequel to “China Attacks” with a North Korean angle to it.
Choi forwarded a number of poorly scanned images but its hard to tell which one he is and Dr. Choi did not give me permission to republish them.Â He did say that Pedroza had several errors in his story (of course there were errors).
Choi’s email to his fundraiser is telling; he feels discussing his military background is somehow bragging and at the end of the message, he says that the fundraiser knows more about Choi’s military experience than Choi’s own wife does.Â
Now that Dr. Choi and his family are living is that small apartment in Woodbridge, I’m sure he can tell his wife and kids all about those days in the DMZ.Â A drive by of the Woodbury home showed no cars in the driveway or down the street, so I can picture the Choi family sitting around that card table and folding chairs as he tells his family about his days in a South Korean military uniform.