By Walter T. Ham IV, Eighth Army Public AffairsMay 6, 2014
SEOUL (May 6, 2014) -- Senior South Korean officials and U.S. military leaders honored American troops at the Korean Cultural Night dinner here, Friday.
Sponsored by the Kumgok Academico-Cultural Foundation, the cultural night was held for U.S. troops, civilians and family members, in South Korea.
Among the leaders in attendance were Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, commander of United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and U.S. Forces Korea; Eighth Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Bernard S. Champoux; and 7th Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Jan-Marc Jouas.
The event was held at the Sheraton Walker Hill, a posh hotel on the hill named after former Eighth Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Walton H. Walker. Walker was the legendary commander who held the line at the Pusan Perimeter during the early days of the Korean War.
The dinner featured traditional Korean dancers and singers.
Champoux introduced Scholar Ha Yeon-soon, the head of Kumgok Academico-Cultural Foundation and the host of the 5th annual Korean Cultural Night.
As a young boy during the Korean War, Scholar Ha first met American Soldiers inside the Pusan Perimeter when they saved him a long walk by giving him a ride in their jeep.
One of the preeminent Confucian scholars in the world today, Scholar Ha has been a staunch supporter of the ROK-U.S. Alliance ever since and he donates cars to Morale, Welfare and Recreation to allow MWR to hold a drawing for the benefit of American troops.
This year, Pfc. Ashely Davis and Sgt. Luis Alvarado won Hyundai Sonatas at the event.
Eighth Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Bernard S. Champoux said Scholar Ha and his foundation have been stalwart supporters of the Republic of Korea-U.S. Alliance.
"Leaders like Scholar Ha make our alliance the strongest in the world today," said Champoux. "Scholar Ha and his foundation demonstrate the unwavering support of our South Korean allies and their steadfast commitment to defending liberty on Freedom's Frontier.
"I salute him for his many years of extraordinary support to Eighth Army, U.S. Forces Korea and the Republic of Korea-U.S. Alliance," said Champoux.