By Sgt. William Brown, Eighth Army Public AffairsApril 27, 2017
USAG YONGSAN, South Korea -- The General Walton H. Walker monument has served as a reminder to the Soldiers of Eighth Army of their proud history serving in the Republic of Korea. As the Eighth Army headquarters makes its historic move to U.S. Army Garrison-Humphreys, a familiar face will be there to remind them once again.
Eighth Army held a ceremony marking the Gen. Walker monument transition from U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan, April 25. The ceremony served as the beginning of Eighth Army's transition and stands as tangible proof that after years of planning, the move has officially begun.
"The General Walker statue relocation underscores our move to Humphreys," said Lt. Gen. Thomas S. Vandal, commanding general of Eighth Army. "Despite the statue itself moving, make no mistake about it -- our alliance and spirit of togetherness remain ironclad and strong."
The guest of honor at the ceremony was Gen. (Ret.) Paik, Sun-Yup, who holds the distinction of serving with Gen. Walker during the Korean War. Paik was the first Korean officer to hold the rank of four-star general and in 2013 was given the title of Honorary Eighth Army commander.
The nearly 10-foot-tall bronze statue of Gen. Walton Harris Walker was donated by the ROK-U.S. Alliance Friendship Society to honor Walker during the 60th anniversary of the Korean War nearly seven years ago on 23 June 2010.
As the commanding general of Eighth Army at the start of the Korean War, Walker is known for breaking through the Pusan Perimeter, despite being outnumbered and outgunned, and drove enemy forces past the North Korean capital of Pyongyang in less than a month.
"It is fitting that we are here today to commemorate the movement of this statue," said Vandal. "General Walker will once again lead Eighth Army, this time to our new home in Pyeongtaek."
The move to USAG-Humphreys is one of the largest base transformations in U.S. Army history. Once the move is completed, the major U.S. commands for the Korean peninsula will all be located at the installation in Pyongtaek.
The relocation will consolidate forces into two central hubs, returning valuable land back to the Republic of the Korea government for later development.
"Almost ten years of planning and $10.7 billion was invested into Humphreys and the Area III's population is expected to expand to 45,000 by 2021," said Vandal. "Our relocation shows we have an everlasting long-term commitment to South Korea and our Alliance."
The statue is scheduled to be unveiled in front of the new headquarters building, which will be named after Walker on USAG-Humphreys during a ceremony July 13.
"I can't wait to see General Walker's statue unveiled, as he represents the highest standard of military service and is symbolic of this great unit alongside our honorary commander, General Paik Sun-Yup," said Vandal.