Identical twins Tom and Tony Bezouska served together in the Army for more than two years during the Korean War.
The two — nicknamed “The Bazooka Brothers” because of their last name — spent roughly ten months in the 187th Airborne Combat Regimental Team. During that time, they made jumps from four different types of airplanes and took part in battles at Pork Chop Hill, Old Baldy and Triangle Ridge.
The brothers then became medics — their job, as they describe it, was to stabilize wounds enough to get soldiers to the battalion doctor. They saw things that still haunt them to this day.
Both brothers suffered shrapnel wounds during the war, but they had a job to do, and they made sure they did it well. They subscribed to a lesson they each learned early on during their time in Korea: “When you are in the infantry and the shelling comes in, you hit the ground. When you are a medic and the shelling comes, you go to work.”
Tom and Tony returned to the United States in January 1954, six months after the ceasefire. They sadly remember arriving home to no special festivities or ceremony. Most of their friends didn’t even know where the brothers were.
That realization hurt, and it stuck with the two for decades. In fact, they never spoke about their war experiences until 1995 when the Korean War Memorial was dedicated.
On April 12, 2017, “The Bazooka Brothers” experienced their long-awaited welcome home thanks to Honor Flight Chicago. The two were on Honor Flight Chicago’s 76th flight and took part in a day that they will never forget.
They were able to hear the thank yous they never heard so many years ago. And they were able to travel to Washington, D.C., and see the memorials along with more than 100 other senior war heroes.
When they arrived home after their day of honor, the two were beaming — together.