By Sgt. Song Gun-woo (2d ID)April 16, 2015
CAMP CASEY, South Korea - Leaving your home country is hard, but coming back to defend it is rewarding. Pfc. Hyeyoung Moon, a behavioral health specialist assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 210th Field Artillery Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, is a Korean native who is also a U.S. Army Soldier serving in Korea.
Originally a Busan native, Moon moved to Houston, Texas in 2006 with her parents and two siblings for better educational opportunities. She graduated from high school three years later and earned her associate's degree in medical health and science from Houston Community College in 2013.
"I moved to U.S. when I was sixteen with my family," said Moon. "At first I didn't want to go, but now I think it was one of the best decisions I made."
After making Houston her new home, Moon was able to experience a new American culture while bonding closer with her family.
When she joined the Army in 2013, she hoped she could one day go back and serve in the country she was born. Her dream came true when she arrived to the 210th FA Bde. in June of 2014.
"I was really glad when I heard that I was coming back to Korea," said Moon. "I was really excited that I could do something for the country that I spent my childhood years in."
During Korean holidays, Moon tries to visit her family in Busan, but sometimes finds it hard because she is located in Dongducheon, which is approximately 250 miles north of the country's second largest city.
"It is really nice going down home for the holidays," Moon mentioned. "During the Lunar New Year this year, I met some of my relatives I haven't met in almost a decade. They were really surprised to see me there and the fact that I'm a U.S. Soldier."
On her free time, Moon utilizes her ability to speak both English and Korean languages by volunteering at the local volunteer center, where she teaches English to the local citizens.
"Out of the little things I can do here, I was glad that I could help the people here," said Moon. "I spent a lot of time studying English when I was a student in Korea and now I am here teaching it. I've been in their shoes and I believe I can really help them out."
She also helps her fellow Soldiers explore Korea by ensuring they receive the proper cultural experience.
"I like to tell others to go out and explore Korea," said Moon. "It is a great place and I recommend them to try the local food and see the beautiful scenery."
Moon is currently working on earning her second associate's degree with plans to enroll at the University of Texas at Austin while continuing her Army career. She would also like to return to Korea and serve in order to show loved ones her home country.
"In future when I have family, I want to have my kids come with me when I go back to Korea," said Moon. "I want to show my kids where I was born and raised. I want them to know that Korea is, and always will be, home to me and hope they realize what a beautiful land it is."