By Lee, Jong Woo, USAG Daegu Public Affairs Office, (Intern)August 7, 2014
USAG DAEGU -- Every year, the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs of Daegu makes a U.S. Army Garrison Daegu installation visit, and according to Sagong, Chan the ministry's administrative officer, it's something they look forward to from one visit to the next. Last year, ministry officials visited Camp Walker. The group made its way July 23 to Camp Carroll.
"The most important reason why we visit the various installations is to introduce what the USFK Soldiers do for the security of the Republic of Korea, and the ROK-US Alliance, to our officers, and local college students," stated Sagong.
The first stop on this year's agenda was the Camp Carroll Wetland. On hand to greet the local guests was So, Ki-chun, USAG Daegu Community Relations Officer for Camp Carroll, and Dr. Kim, Chom-tong, environmental engineer, DPW Environmental Division. Guiding the visitors through the wetlands, the CRO explained that the current wetland site was formerly a garage.
"Since 2009, we have worked on the restoration of the wetland. Once the site of a garage, it is now a place where people can come and rest while they enjoy nature," he said.
Dr. Kim chimed in, "Camp Carroll is the best place among the USFK installations where the environmental facilities and programs function so well."
Dr. Kim's efforts to conserve the environment around Camp Carroll have been recognized by DoD officials. In 1999 he received the Secretary of the Army Environmental Quality Overseas Installation Award. He received the same award again in 2006 for USAG Daegu and Area IV.
The first stop for the visitors was at the Camp Carroll wetlands. Prior to the entering the site they were briefed by Mr. So who explained to them that the wetlands project began in 2009. He said, "At that time, this area was a garage. With a lot of hours and a lot of hard work, restoration began. Now, what once was a garage, is now a place for people to come and rest."
Also welcoming the visitors was Tom Kunneke, DPW Environmental Division, Natural Resources Management. He shared with the visitors a few strong points regarding the wetlands.
"The main value of the restoration is hydrology, native vegetation, and bio-diversity," Kunneke said. "Most native plants and animals come along with the hydrology. Now, it provides many different services for the people, the wild life and everything else. After the restoration was finished, seasonal birds started coming here. Some birds come and go from the Nakdong River all year long."
Following the visit through the wetlands, Mr. Sagong, along with the officers and students participated in a windshield tour around Camp Carroll. Part of that tour included a briefing by Mr. Yim, Chong-uk, KN Senior Supervisor, Heavy Equipment Division, who explained the function of the massive warehouse.
"We repair all of USFK's ground equipment such as combat equipment, military engineering equipment, and tactical vehicles. With the help of the DPW Environmental Division of Camp Carroll, we also try not to pollute the local surroundings. We discharge the pollutants into the designated waste repository, even a keg of antifreeze," he said.
Clearly, the visitors got great satisfaction from the visit and the briefings. Said one of the visiting students, Kwon, Jin-kyeom, Sociology, Yeongnam University, "What I expected before this tour was something about the system on combat equipment. However, they gave an explanation on their efforts for the local condition. It was different from the ROK Army. So I concentrated and listened closely. Now I have an idea of the circumstances of the U.S. Army. The pollution of the atmosphere and the environment is getting worse, but I think the Soldiers here can live in harmony with nature by taking a rest at a place like the wetland."