CAMP CASEY, Republic of Korea - In the spirit of tradition, Warriors traveled more than 60 miles north to reunite with friends, eager to celebrate the upcoming New Year.
The 2nd Infantry Division/ROK-U.S. Combined Division hosted a Lunar New Year reception for military members, spouses, Republic of Korea service members, and distinguished guests to celebrate an early Seollal and the enduring ROK-U.S. Alliance at the Warrior Club, Jan. 31.
Seollal, or Lunar New Year, follows the moon's cycles where years are represented by 12 animals that repeat their rotation every 12 years. This year is the year of the golden pig, associated with wealth and prosperity.
"I know it's very cold outside, but in here, you feel the warmth, which is the family that is the ROK-U.S. Alliance," said Maj. Gen. D. Scott McKean, San Jose, California native, commanding general, 2ID/RUCD. "All of you are very special to us."
The Warrior Division, with its rich history in the cities of Dongducheon City, Uijeongbu and Pyeongtaek, was honored to celebrate the Lunar New Year with their extended family members.
"Last year at this time, the situation was very tense here north of Seoul," said McKean. "But even through those tensions, the support from Dongducheon, Uijeongbu, the Gyeonggi province, (and) the support from all of our friends in 2nd Infantry Division never wavered."
Not only is Seollal a time to pay respect to those who came before us, but it is also an opportunity to catch up with family members and those who have long stood beside us in our enduring partnership with the Korean community.
"An alliance goes through ups and downs, and we must always remember that, regardless of what's being said in the newspapers or other places, that this relationship will survive anything," said McKean.
The celebration concluded with a toast between Americans and Koreans ringing in the Lunar New Year, an indication of great things yet to come.
"We wish everybody a very happy Lunar New Year," said McKean. "Between Pyeongtaek, Uijeongbu and Dongducheon, we consider all of you our hometowns. We hope for health and prosperity to all of our friends and all of our family."