Avery Severt was born on December 26, 1930, in Marion, Virginia. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on July 27, 1951, and was trained as an infantryman. Sgt Severt deployed to Korea with the 2nd Infantry Division, where he built bunkers, reinforced battle trenches, and built barbed wire fences. In the process of reinforcing the battle trenches, Sgt Severt got hit with shrapnel on his helmet and received a severe head wound on October 24, 1952. He was evacuated to Japan and then back to the United States, and after being hospitalized for his injuries at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C., he was medically retired from the Army on July 31, 1953.
The Letter he received from the President of the Republic of Korea on the 50th Anniversary of the Outbreak of the Korean War reads:
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, I would like to offer you my deepest gratitude for your noble contribution to the efforts to safeguard the Republic of Korea and uphold liberal democracy around the world. At the same time, I remember with endless respect and affection those who sacrificed their lives for that cause. We Koreans hold dear in our hearts the conviction, courage and spirit of sacrifice shown to us by such selfless friends as you, who enabled us to remain a free democratic nation. The ideals of democracy, for which you were willing to sacrifice your all 50 years ago, have become universal values in this new century and millennium. Half a century after the Korean War, we honor you and reaffirm our friendship, which helped to forge the blood alliance between our two countries. And we resolve once again to work with all friendly nations for the good of humankind and peace in the world. I thank you once again for your noble sacrifice, and pray for your health and happiness.