Camp Red Cloud, KOREA-- After almost lifetime, two former brothers-in-arms reunite in Korea to catch up on old times and share their stories.
Retired Army Col. Victor S. Vierra, former United Nations Command Security Battalion- Joint Service Area commander and retired Republic of Korea Maj. Kim Moon-hwan, former ROK Army company commander, UNCSB-JSA were invited by the ROK Ministry of National Defense during the 60th Anniversary celebration of the ROK-U.S. Alliance Sept. 27 to Oct. 3.
The former soldiers were invited by the 2nd Infantry Division Commander, Maj. Gen. Thomas Vandal to visit division headquarters and share their story and insights on leadership to senior leaders Sept. 26on Camp Red Cloud.
While touring Freeman Hall, the division headquarters, the gentlemen seemed excited to see the division's history displayed in pictures and displays. The former commanders received a brief on the division after over 30 years since they were in command.
Vierra made a point to current leaders that as new Soldiers arrive, the first impression they should get is from the command. He had a sergeant meet every new Soldier to see if they can meet the demands in the JSA. In keeping with that leadership, the 2nd Inf. Div. Command Sgt. Maj. Andrew J. Spano informed him that he and the division's commander travel to Camp Hovey and meet the incoming Soldiers.
"It's an honor to be here and reunite with my commander," said Kim. "There's so much to talk about and so many memories runs through my head."
After the brief, Vierra and Kim visited the 2nd Inf., Div., Museum and given a tour by Museum Director retired Army Col. William Alexander. Not knowing that their past would somehow surface during their tour, they curiously followed him through the displays of authentic artifacts, historical photos, and division history from its formation during WWI, through today's Warriors guarding Freedom's Frontier.
While walking through the museum they ended their tour at the display they are memorialized. Vierra pointed out a picture of the Operation Paul Bunyan and talked about the events that took place that day. Mr. Kim also pointed to a picture where he was during the axing.
Vierra, the Sullivan's Island, S.C., native commanded the UNCSB-JSA from Nov, 1975 through January 1977, during the time of the murder of Capt. Arthur Bonifas and 1st Lt. Mark Bennett and Operation Paul Bunyan. Kim, a Korean native was a ROK company commander at UNCSB-JSA October 1975 through March 1977.
After the museum tour, the small group went to Mitchell's Community Club for lunch to provide mentorship to division staff senior leaders. Vierra and Kim shared their story and spoke about their leadership during the times that they were in command at the JSA.
In a closing remark Kim said he really appreciates U.S. Soldier's dedication to be here and support Korea. He added that he is strengthened by the friendship both ROK and U.S. soldiers share and impressed with their commitment to defend Korea side-by-side.