CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea - Soldiers with 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, 210th Fires Brigade visited the "House of Isaac," an orphanage located in Uijeongbu Dec. 21.

After completing an exercise earlier that day, the Soldiers, their hands were heavy with gifts, arrived at the orphanage in the afternoon, just as the school-aged children were coming back from school.

As soon as everyone gathered in the hall, Capt. Marc Shim, 6-37th FA chaplain, started the event off with a prayer.

A Soldier, dressed in a Santa costume, came up and sat on a chair as children yelled out for Santa Claus. The children looked shy and nervous at first but soon gained courage and walked up to Santa, introduced themselves and each received a Christmas gift.

Opening the gifts was the ice breaking moment for the children and Soldiers, as some toy manuals were written in English. While explaining the manuals, Soldiers and children shared snacks and played with the toys.

"Love was the greatest gift of all," said Cho Min, a fifth grader in elementary school. "It was nice to meet so many new people today. I used some English I learned from school to communicate with them. I wish we could get together more often to play soccer or go hiking on a mountain."

Spc. Jonathan Holder from C Battery, 6-37th FA, said he had a great time with the children
"I want to do it more," he said. "I didn't know what to get for the kids, so I asked other people to pick the gifts. The kids looked happy with the presents."

Holder joked that next time he'll definitely get more chocolate.

Kim Chang Woo, who has been working at the House of Isaac for the last seven years, said, "This is the first visit by the 6-37th FA. Although it was a short visit, kids loved it. Such visits by the (U.S. Forces Korea) Soldiers have positive impact on the children's social skills as well."
Kim also expressed appreciation to the visitors.

"These days, as they are decreasing the number of USFK Soldiers, such visits have decreased as well," he said. "It is very nice of them to come all the way from Dongducheon for the children."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16