GOP Sen. Grassley ends 10-year ‘feud’ with History Channel to help highlight Korean War vet

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is a “student of history” and, as such, has been sharply critical of the History Channel for the past 10 years for not airing enough shows about actual history and historical events — a not entirely uncommon complaint about the network.

That decade-long grudge has now been set aside, however, as the Republican senator from Iowa has joined forces with the cable network to highlight the story of a Korean War veteran who lives in Iowa, the Daily Caller reported.

Grassley helped to highlight Iowa native Korean War veteran

In a Wednesday press release, Sen. Grassley announced his partnership with the History Channel to provide narration for a special feature on Bill Rector, a resident of Denver, Iowa who served as a U.S. Navy Gunner’s Mate on the USS Los Angeles during the Korean War and captured amazing footage throughout the conflict on a personal 8mm camera he had purchased.

“There’s so much history all around us, and it’s important to know where we’ve been as a country to help make informed decisions about our future,” Grassley said in the statement.

“It’s also important for Americans to understand and appreciate the service and sacrifice throughout our history to preserve the freedoms and liberties we enjoy each day,” he added. “I’m a student of history and I’m grateful to partner with the History Channel to help tell Bill’s incredible story.”

In the video, Rector said, “Some of the things that I’ve seen, there’s some history there. I’m happy that other people enjoy them and learn a lot from them,” and added, “I think most of us guys that were in [the Korean War] felt we were doing a service for our country. I just felt happy about that.”

Collaboration to honor Rector’s service announced

The press release from Sen. Grassley noted that he is an “avid watcher” of the History Channel, but as the Daily Caller pointed out, the senator has tweeted critically about the network’s at-times lack of actual historical programming, a complaint he reiterated on Tuesday when he wrote, “Dear History Channel As u kno Im a big fan of REAL history + enjoy seeing it on history channel sometimes. Lets see some more of the good stuff!!”

The network responded to Grassley’s tweet on Wednesday morning and said, “You’re right, @ChuckGrassley. Incredible stories of history are all around us. Many Americans have their own stories of living through critical moments in our nation’s history. Perhaps you can help us tell one of those stories.”

The collaboration was either immediate — or more likely had secretly already been in the works — because both Grassley and the History Channel issued a joint tweet Wednesday to announce the special project, and stated, “Preserving stories of American war veterans like Rector is crucial to appreciating the service and sacrifice so many have made throughout our history. You can help document veterans’ service through the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project.”

This is great, and hopefully will help to spur a new or renewed interest in the so-called “forgotten war” of the early 1950s that involved the nascent United Nations fighting off an attempt by Chinese communists to take over the entirety of the Korean Peninsula — with that brutal conflict ending in an armistice and the peninsula currently split by the demilitarized zone between the now-destitute communist North and the prosperous capitalist South.

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