DONGDUCHEON, Republic of Korea -- Members of the 2nd Infantry Division/ROK-U.S. Combined Division participated in the 16th Annual Angel Day Charity Marathon to advocate community involvement at Dongducheon City Sports Complex Stadium Oct. 3.
Maj. Gen. D. Scott McKean, San Jose, California native, and commanding general, 2ID/RUCD, Command Sgt. Maj. Phil K. Barretto, Aiea, Hawaii native, Dongducheon City Mayor Choi, Yong Deok, Congressman Kim, Sung Won, and Chairman Lee, Sung Soo of Dongducheon City Council were amongst those in attendance.
In opening remarks, Mayor Choi highlighted the significance of the marathon.
"Thanks to your participation in the marathon, we are able to help children with incurable diseases and people under poor financial conditions" said Choi. "By participating in the marathon, you are proving to everyone that you are a living angel."
Local volunteer organization, "Angelic Love Outreach Headquarters" hosted the event, which featured a 5k (run or walk), 10k (run) and a half marathon that extended through the city from the sports complex stadium to Camp Casey and back.
Brig. Gen. Kim, Yong Chul, native of Gangwon-do, and 2ID/RUCD Deputy Commanding General, Republic of Korea, also completed the half marathon.
"I'm happy to participate in this marathon with my colleagues, the U.S. forces," said Kim. "Like 'Cheon-sa,' which means angel, it's beautiful to assist our neighbors."
The marathon was publicized in the local community, home to both Camp Casey and Camp Hovey where it caught the attention of Sgt. 1st Class James Vielle, Brooklyn, New York native, and motor sergeant, 1st Battalion, 41st Field Artillery Regiment, 210th Field Artillery Brigade.
"I saw the banners posted throughout Dongducheon City and Camp Hovey and decided to run the half marathon to work on physical strength and endurance while promoting a good cause," said Vielle. "It feels great to support our ROK allies and show cohesion in the city in which we serve."
Angel Day was originally created by Heemang Jukimi, Safe Keepers of Hopes Corporation in Dongducheon. The organization advocates volunteering, sharing, and love, to bring hope to young parent households, the elderly, disabled, children suffering from leukemia, heart disease, cancer, incurable diseases and those less fortunate.
The first 'Angel Day' celebration took place Oct. 4, 2003 in Dongducheon, Ilsan, and Kentucky, simultaneously with hope that the day is celebrated like other special holidays where the entire world can participate in the sharing of hope.
Today, 16-years later, the immense community involvement at the event between the citizens of the Republic of Korea, U.S. Soldiers and civilians proved that together, the alliance can produce hope and inspiration.