Korea recognizes its good neighbors
Yang Chang-Kyoo, president of People-to-People International New Seoul Chapter, center, poses along with Gen. James D. Thurman, commander of United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, and U.S. Forces Korea, after receiving a 2012 USFK Good Neighbor Award, Sept. 24. (U.S. Army photo by Pvt. Lim Hongseo)

YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea -- An alliance as strong as the ROK-U.S. alliance requires the involvement of many organizations and people personally committed to maintaining and improving its strength. To recognize some of these dedicated good neighbors, the 10th Annual USFK Good Neighbor Awards ceremony was held here, Sept. 24.

"We are here this evening to honor and recognize our exceptional good neighbors," said Gen. James D. Thurman, commander of United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, and U.S. Forces Korea. "They are talented, dedicated and selfless in their communities as members who strive to make a difference for those around them."

The good neighbors being recognized consisted of 20 individuals, both Korean and U.S. These Servicemembers, Civilians, family members were recognized for their generosity and efforts in strengthening Korean and American relations.

Yang, Chang Kyoo, president of the People to People International New Seoul Chapter, who represented Area II, was among the distinguished individuals nominated for the USFK Good Neighbor Awards.

"I am very honored to receive this award," Yang said. "It is always my pleasure to be able to help enhance the ROK-U.S. alliance in any way that I can."

PTP, which consists of 150 businessmen and women, is a group committed to promoting the ROK-U.S. alliance and improving life for U.S. Servicemembers, Families, and Civilians living on the Korean peninsula. Under Yang's leadership, PTP had supported countless events on U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan to improve relations with Community members in Area II.

Events included the Super Bowl Festivities, KATUSA-U.S. Soldier Friendship Week, Fourth of July celebrations and the annual Yongsan Fall Festival among many others. Such events not only improved relations between the Koreans and U.S., but it also improved the quality of life for the Area II Community.

Thurman said that it was through efforts such as these that good neighbors were able to improve relations between the two countries. As members of both countries offered their time and resources to support each other, Community members would be able to sense and appreciate the deep dedication that each nation has for their friendship and alliance.

"Our Community works tirelessly to support our mission here on the Korean peninsula, in maintaining security and resource stability," Thurman said. "You should be extremely proud of your accomplishments."

Being the strongest alliance in the world, means that its members must be dedicated to maintaining that partnership with each other. Thurman emphasized that the ROK and U.S. were both doing their parts well in maintaining this relationship, and that this dedication allowed both countries to help each other become stronger.

The awards ceremony was one simple way of recognizing these individuals and groups that were giving their best to improving relations between the two nations.

"It is a true honor for me to serve on this great peninsula with the Korean people as we provide peace and prosperity with the ROK military, so Korean people are safe and can continue to prosper," Thurman said. "We will always do everything we can to make sure we keep the peninsula safe. So again, thank you very much. Katchi Kapshida!"

Page last updated Thu October 11th, 2012 at 00:00