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Korean War veteran tells the story of coming home

Robert Banker collecting letters for a new book
Posted at 11:45 PM, Nov 08, 2017

Veteran's Day is three days away and one man is reflecting on his time in the Army during the Korean War.

Robert Banker told ABC2 that Wednesday marked exactly 66 years since he signed up to serve his country. 

His labor of love to preserve the memories of that time?  He's compiling letters from veterans from the day they found out they were leaving the war zone and going home.

"It's real for me and all others, that moment in time," said Banker.

It's that moment in time where a soldier removes his battle clothes and is told he can go home.

"It's surreal.  It's like you're in a storm of storms; a hurricane, a tornado, it's raining, it's snowing, hell is bursting loose, if you will, that's war," explained Banker.

War.  A word so many will never know the true meaning of.  For veterans like Banker, it's a time he'll never forget.

"All of a sudden a door magically opens and you walk into a beautiful blue sky and a brilliant yellow sun, warmth, humanity, kindness just like that."

Banker describes the moments just after he was told he would once again leave the horrors of war behind for the comforts of home. 

"There comes that moment in time where when you're informed that your participation in the war combat zone has concluded, you served your time and you're going home."

The veteran calls Fallston home now.  He spends his time compiling letters from fellow veterans about the moments when they too found out they were heading home.

Banker's time overseas spanned 13 months; he hopes to capture from other veterans the deep impact leaves upon a person.

"It's the absolute realization that you're leaving hell and you're going home," Banker said.

These letters, Banker hopes, will shed some light on the willingness to serve of millions as he shares part of his own letter from that fateful day. 

"The soldier will now leave this land, but the land will never the soldier. You have served your country your duty is now complete, go home soldier."

Banker is looking to get at least 100 letters to complete the book. 

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