DENVER (CBS4)– It took 50 years before Army Sgt. Ray Horton would talk about the war, the men who died and his best friend Gail Teegarden. He’s just one of many veterans who will be honored on Memorial Day.
“Gail was more than a friend in Korea, he was my life support,” Horton said fighting back tears.
The two of them were part of a small group known as the “Can Do Raiders” in the Korean War; a Special Forces unit operating almost entirely behind enemy lines.
“All nine of us were good at what we did and that’s how we got chosen,” he said.
On Oct. 3, 1951, the Can Do Raiders found themselves in a devastating battle at Old Baldy Hill.
“Three hundred and fifty men in company… I was with all three companies, I carried the last man off the field,” he said, “that many men, two survived… the rest were all killed.”
Horton is a survivor but Teegarden, he says, is the hero.
“He was sent home… in a box,” Horton said with a long pause.
For several years now, Horton spends the Saturday before Memorial Day honoring those who have given their lives for their country at the Veterans Memorial Day Tribute.
This year Horton will carry a banner with the name of his good friend on it, a name that means so much to him he gave it to his son.
“His name is Stanley Gail, named after Gail Teegarden.”
This year’s ceremony is Saturday, May 25 from 10 a.m. to noon at the POF Hall, 1340 Sherman St, in Denver.