YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea -- Eighth Army held a ceremony as part of Asian-American Pacific Islander Heritage month May 27 at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan in Seoul, South Korea to highlight the contributions made by Asian-American and Pacific Islander Soldiers to our nation.
Each year throughout the month of May, the Army pays tribute to generations of Asian American and Pacific Islanders for their substantial contributions to our way of life.

The ceremony was highlighted by traditional Korean songs performed by area students and a traditional Samoan dance by Sgt. 1st Class George Roberts, Eighth Army Knowledge Management.
Following the event, Roberts spoke on where he learned the traditional dance and the importance of the observance.

"I know the (Samoan) dance because it is part of my culture," said Roberts. "We learned it (when) we were kids back in the Samoan islands and…we carry it on wherever we go to maintain our culture in our community."

"It is very important to hold this kind of event to maintain (each) culture, because nothing is more beautiful than different cultures gathering together for one main goal."

Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage month carries with it a heightened sense of importance here in South Korea, but it is easy to see their contributions throughout the Army-wide community.
Second Infantry Division Deputy Commanding General of Maneuvers, Brig. Gen. Richard Kim spoke on the important role that Asian-American and Pacific Islanders have played in the protection of freedom.

"Today there are over 300,000 Asian-Pacific veterans in the U.S.", said Kim. "By answering the call of duty to serve our country and dedicate their lives to military service they have defended the U.S. Constitution and what this nation stands for."

In addition to over 300,000 Asian-Pacific veterans in America there are currently 65,000 Asian-Americans serving in our nation's active and reserve armed forces.