Korean university students tour Yongsan Garrison
May 23, 2008
<b>YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea </b> - Students and staff from a Korean university toured Yongsan Garrison May 19 to gain insight on U.S. military culture as part of the U.S. Forces Korea Good Neighbor Program.
The 44 visitors from Hanlim University in Chunchon, east of Seoul, toured the Yongsan Library and post facilities, watched a multi-media presentation on the U.S. military transformation in Korea, and had lunch with U.S. Soldiers.
"I believe that our young generation is well aware of the era they are living in and have abundant interests toward the global society," said Wang Sin-sik, a Hanlim University librarian. "This opportunity is certainly a good chance for these students to experience a world outside the boundary of school campus. Surely, they will understand the U.S. Army wants to be our good friend."
The invitation to visit Yongsan was one of a series of Good Neighbor program events coordinated with the U.S. Embassy to help give Korea's younger generation an improved understanding of the U.S. Army, said An Chang-sin, U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan community relations officer.
"We enjoy showing our neighbors life behind our walls," An said. "The more knowledgeable our neighbors are of our culture and our missions, it helps us strengthen the relationship between our two countries."
The students and staff watched a multi-media presentation on the Republic of Korea and U.S. Army alliance, as well as the relocation plan of Yongsan Garrison.
"They learned such positive perspectives of the U.S. Army as an economical contributor and its roles of defending the freedom of Republic of Korea," An said.
The students showed great interest in the literature resources at the Yongsan Library, as librarian Gordon Imrie explained the library system during a short tour of the facility.
Shin Hwa-jung, a sophomore student who studied library science, attentively listened to Imrie. "It was interesting to visit a library that has such an abundance of American literature," Shin said.
After receiving a windshield tour around the Garrison, they shared a lunch buffet at the Commiskey's with representatives from the USAG-Yongsan command.
"We hope that you are having a great learning experience," Deputy Garrison Commander Don Moses told the students. "Let us get to know each other, and when you go back to your families, friends and students, we hope you are excited to share your new knowledge."
Kim Ki-young, a Hanlim junior, had a unique reason to come to Yongsan-Garrison to meet American Soldiers.
"I was discharged from military service as a Korean Marine," he said. "When I was still in the military, I had a chance to have combined training with American Marines and could share great friendship with them. I really appreciate their service in Korea, and one of the reasons I came here is to remember our friendship."