“I adopted [15-year-old] Kim. Or perhaps it was the other way around. I gave him tent space and part of my rations and whatever odd bits of clothing and gear I could scrounge. In return, he policed our quarters, washed my clothes and guarded my belongings. . . .”
—U.S. Marine Corps Technical Sergeant Robert H. Mosier
Among the most visible casualties of the Korean War were families. An estimated 100,000 children were left on the streets and in orphanages. On the streets children survived as beggars or as shoeshine, errand, and houseboys, with a few informally and temporarily “adopted” by U.S. soldiers. Because of the enormous difficulties, only a small number of elite children were lucky enough to attend makeshift schools.