years after the cease-fire in Korea, a group of Korean War veterans got together
and formed a reunion committee which later developed into the Korea Veterans Association
of Canada. By the end of their first year in 1974 the association had recruited
77 members; by 1978 another 430. As the years passed and more and more Korea veterans
reached retirement, creating extra leisure time, membership peaked—over 4,000
members in 60-odd branches (units) across Canada. With the attrition of illness
and death memberships as well as active units are now dwindling.
organizations such as the Royal Canadian Legion and peacekeeping associations,
KVA cannot recruit younger veterans to maintain its numbers. To extend the life
of KVA to its utmost, the General
John M. Rockingham Memorial--Heritage Unit #1 was formed. When units
no longer have enough members to function, membership is available in the Heritage
Unit for a one-time fee. It will continue to exist as long as even only one member
remains to maintain the tradition.
Canada is a founding member of the International Federation of Korean War Veterans’
Associations and a member of the National Council of Veterans’ Associations in
Canada. KVA successfully lobbied the Federal Government for the "Korea"
service button and the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal for Korea. It organizes
revisits to the Republic of Korea, hosted by the Korean Veterans Association of
Seoul. In 1997, the Korea Veterans National Wall of Remembrance was dedicated
in Brampton, Ontario. To assist the youth of our country, a KVA National Student
Bursary program has been established.
membership is open to anyone who served in Korea or Korean waters in the armed
forces of a UN member country (including the Republic of Korea) between June 1950
and December 31, 1955. Members of ancillary units such as the Red Cross, Salvation
Army and Merchant Navy that served UN Forces during the same time period are also
eligible for membership. See Membership