Kiowa unit spreads Christmas cheer to orphans
January 9, 2014
CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea -- The air cavalry delivers more than hellfire missiles.
Soldiers from 4th Attack Reconnaissance Squadron, 6th Calvary Regiment, elicited smiles and squeals of joy from orphaned and abandoned children in Area III to whom they delivered scores of Christmas presents on Dec. 21, 2013.
They arrived by bus with gift donations in hand at the AE Hyang Child Welfare Center in Songtan, near Osan Air Force Base. The toys were handed out after the children performed several Christmas-themed skits.
The Soldiers lined up on stage and handed out their presents one by one to the children. The youngsters, after eagerly waiting, each selected a gift and accompanied their benefactor to play with their presents nearby.
Many familiar Christmas scenes followed: Packages were ripped open, instruction manuals read and a friendly snowball fight ensued. Soldiers and children competed in a frosty soccer game, and young girls showed off their skills with new hula hoops. A large box of chocolate, one of the Soldier's gifts, proved a popular hit.
Christmas music played as children laughed around Soldiers, one commenting that he felt as if they were in a movie.
The experience was special for Pfc. Kyle Yeatter, an automated logistical specialist in Delta Troop, 4th ARS, 6th Cav. Regt., and native of Medina, Ohio. He said he enjoyed interacting with the children and felt the unit's work there made them feel important.
This was the second trip that unit has made to AE Hyang. During their nine-month rotation in Korea, the unit will continue to sponsor the child welfare center. They have made plans for additional teams to visit the children twice a month while in country.
The AE Hyang Child Welfare Center was founded in 1953, thanks to the work of a man who made it his duty to take into his home orphaned or abandoned children to care for them after the Korean War. The center currently houses 72 children whose ages range from preschool to high school. All of them have been orphaned, abandoned or removed from the care of their parents.
The children attend school in the surrounding community, but are clothed, fed and housed at the center. Each child is assigned to one of the 22 social workers who work at the facility. These social workers organize extracurricular activities, mentor the children and help develop their talents, some of which were on display during, visit.
"We really appreciate what you are all doing. The kids really appreciate it," said Kim Yong Sook, AE Hyang director, through a translator. "These kids have been abandoned, so you are like parents to them."
The , 4th ARS, 6th Cav. Regt., is an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior squadron from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., which is currently attached to 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade at Camp Humphreys. The unit participates in community events in support of the Alliance of Republic of Korea and U.S., making one child at a time happy by sharing Christmas cheers.