Villagers enjoy fun-packed evening with 2ID
August 27, 2008
Barbeque smoke and the music from a sound system filled the air of a quiet village. Long lines of villagers extended to the outside of barbeque tents, and kids constantly made shy approaches to uniformed Americans out of curiosity.
A simple barbeque party turned out to be a huge success, entertaining more than 1,000 people.
The 2nd Infantry Division held a Good Neighbor program event at Youngjung-myeon in cooperation with USO Casey and the Youngjung-myeon district office, July 31. USO Casey provided free barbeque, the 2ID Warrior Band and Taekwondo Team filled the main acts of the evening's program.
"It is a great opportunity for 2ID to have fun with the local community," said Lt. Col. Ivan Beckman, the deputy commander of 1st HBCT. "We hope to build friendship and make the Alliance stronger. Many of our Soldiers came out to support from different units to make this evening successful."
Youngjung-myeon is a district borough of the city of Pocheon, located just south of 8th Army's Korea Training Center, where 2ID has its live-fire exercises throughout the year.
The division put together this event in appreciation to local residents for putting up with the inconvenience caused by the KTC.
"We are here to connect with (locals) and let them know we are here for them," said Pfc. Cody Pope, Company D, 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, who had just returned from a month-long gunnery exercise. "After today's event, Koreans will acknowledge our presence as positive and know that we are all one force to go together."
"We have prepared enough food for 800 people, but we are running out and there are still people waiting," said Pvt. John Richmond, a Soldier from 2nd Bn., 9th Inf. Regt., who helped serve the food to the locals.
"It's not a gourmet meal, but it's something American people eat and the locals get to sample," said Kim, Sung hui, a mother of two children who enjoyed the evening. "I appreciate the effort and support that the Army is providing tonight."
After the barbeque, Youngjung-myeon presented a program to accommodate older people, such as Korean traditional dance and music, but the highlight of the event was the 2ID Taekwondo and band performances.
People watched not only from the seats, but also standing on chairs, bridges and steps so as not to miss a single movement of the kicks and punches demonstrated by the 2ID Taekwondo Team. The evening rounded out with raffle prizes given out from the USO to the locals.
"I know that the locals are enjoying tonight when I see smiles on their faces," said Cpl. Robert George III, Company B, 4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment. "People in this community at least will remember the cultural exchange and close interaction with the Soldiers and think positively upon us that we are building the community together."