USAG DAEGU, Korea- In today's busy and bustling world, people are often unable to attend the significant life events of family members or friends. This is especially true for military Families stationed at home or abroad. Weddings, birthdays, promotions and graduations are examples of such events everyone would want their loved ones to attend.
Had it not been for today's technology connecting people around the globe instantly, this would have surely been the case for two parents stationed in Seoul, Korea, nearly 7,000 miles away from their children in El Paso, Texas.
On the day of one Soldiers special ceremony, a popular application commonly used on commuters and smart phones, helped bridge the gap of Family separation.
"Unbeknownst to me, my wife made prior coordination with my kids and my battalion commander, to have loved ones attend the ceremony via the internet," said Sgt. Maj. Ramon Inciriaga, the former senior enlisted advisor for the Korean Service Corps Battalion, Materiel Support Command-Korea, 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command. "When I walked into the venue, I noticed big TVs projecting video of my children and my father, and I was completely blown away with emotion."
Rightfully so, as Inciriaga was being recognized for 31 years of active federal service during a formal change of responsibility and retirement ceremony held in his honor on Nov. 2 at United States Army Garrison Yongsan, Seoul, Korea.
He explained that during his first tour to South Korea in 1994, he was lucky if he was able to get a landline to call back home and also explained how much things have changed since then. Now, Korea is said to have the fastest internet speed in the world.
"Back in the day, we relied on still photos to capture special events that didn't really tell the whole story," said Inciriaga. "With this new technology, my dad and my kids were able to see the 17 companies in my battalion standing behind, supporting me, and they saw the importance of such a significant event."
Inciriaga's wife, Amanda O. Inciriaga, orchestrated the surprise with the help of the KSC battalion commander, Lt. Col. Adam Lowmaster, who insisted the stateside family attend the ceremony via the internet.
"As a retired communications officer of the U.S. Air Force, I was able to witness just how quickly technology has changed throughout the years, and it is amazing," said Amanda, a native of Tuskegee, Alabama. "To see his face when he finally realized that his dad and our children were actually live on TV from the U.S., was a surprise in of itself."
With the cat out of the bag, the family went on to see their loved one transfer his responsibility to the incoming senior enlisted advisor of the KSC battalion, Sgt. Maj. Mark Floryance. Shortly after, the Inciriagas Family witnessed their Soldier close the chapter on a successful 31-year military career.
"I love the Army very much," said Inciriagas. "These past 31 years have had its challenges and many proud moments, and I would do it all again in a heartbeat."