By Cpl. Lee Min-hwi (USAG-Yongsan)January 21, 2009
YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea - Seoul municipal officials and their families toured Yongsan Jan. 16 for an orientation to the installation and a look at American lifestyle in the middle of Seoul.
"This event is a part of Good Neighbor Program designed to foster better relationship and cultural exchange between the U.S. Army and Korean local neighbors," said Michael Nutter, the U.S. Forces Korea Good Neighbor Program coordinator. "This would help them understand what really exists behind the walls and that the U.S. Army is a neighbor and friend."
These nearly 80 local visitors, including Korean family members, arrived at Moyer Community Activities Center to watch a multimedia presentation on the Korean-American alliance and the Yongsan Relocation Plan. USFK and Garrison officials answered many questions about Yongsan.
"I learned that the impacts of the U.S. Army are not just defending our country, but include economic influences on local people also," said Kim Mi-ae, a spouse. "It is surprising to know that many of Yongsan employees are Korean."
After the quick orientation, they received a bus tour of the garrison while listening to tour guides explain the history and mission of the U.S. Army at Yongsan. The group also got a taste of American food in the Three Kingdom's Inn Dining Facility.
"There are restaurants, hotel, hospital and much more. I never expected this," said Yang Young-su. "I heard that this is one of the best Army communities, and that seems to be true. The people are really friendly too."
The group then walked by the U.S. Forces Korea headquarters building, commonly called the "White House" as they listened to Nutter's explanations about the installation. Soon they arrived at the Yongsan Lanes for a few games of bowling.
"This is our first time to visit Yongsan Garrison, and it is such a valuable treasure for all of us," said Kim Sung-hwe, event coordinator. "Now we know that the Yongsan Army community is much closer. We wish for constant cultural exchange and ever increasing friendship in the future."