Picture in your mind the farms and ranches near Pierre, South Dakota – a landscape similar to what’s shown in the movie “Dances With Wolves” (the film was shot right in this area). This land produces feed corn, wheat, soybeans, and seed grains. It also produces people of the land who’ve inherited a profound sense of tenacity and pride in a job well done at the end of a day filled with hard work. One of those is Ken Korkow.
Ken found college “boring,” and like many of his buddies back home, enlisted in the military. Ken, specifically, entered the Marine Corps. After basic training, Corporal Ken Korkow was transferred directly into combat in Vietnam as a mortar section leader in Company B, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, at the notorious Khe Sanh Combat Base. This base suffered relentless daily attack by the North Vietnamese Army for 77 days. During this time, Ken received citations for The Navy Cross and the Purple Heart. On March 30, 1968, Ken’s men came under intense attack. He single-handedly destroyed the hostile mortar placement, and made repeated trips under fire to carry his wounded men to an aid station. Ken was seriously wounded in this attack, and contributed to the defeat of the numerically superior enemy, while saving the lives of many of his brothers in arms.
After his medical discharge, Ken earned undergraduate and MBA degrees and became a successful land broker. During this time, Ken threw himself into work, becoming a work addict as a way to deal with war-torn memories. But it wasn’t keeping away the nightmares, anguish, and “survivor’s guilt.” He was suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) before there was a name for it.