CAMP CASEY, Republic of Korea - U.S. Soldiers and local community leaders planted 12 trees to symbolize the deeply rooted partnership that exists between the 210th Field Artillery Brigade and the city of Dongducheon.

Dongducheon City Major Choi, Yong-deuk, 210th FAB leaders, and friends from DDC City Volunteer Center joined for the twelfth Arbor Day Tree Planting Ceremony near the brigade headquarters, April 16.

Each year, 210th FAB and community leaders unite to plant a spreading yew tree which represents the strength of their partnership.

"Koreans love this tree," said Son, Duck-Hwan, DDC Volunteer Center Chairman. "As this tree grows [it] means our friendship between Korea and the U.S. also grows."

The tradition began April 4, 2008, when the team planted the first tree at Thunder Brigade headquarters.

The area where the trees are planted is a long narrow plot of grass between the headquarters and the brigade S1 (Human Resources) office, which facilitates the tree's continued growth and attention from Thunder Brigade leadership.

Lt. Col. Shane Doolan, deputy commanding officer, 210th FAB, native of Brooklyn, New York, represented the Thunder Brigade at this special ceremony.

"The 210th Field Artillery Brigade has a long history and partnership with the Dongducheon Volunteer Center," said Doolan. "As a display of our partnership, 210th Field Artillery Brigade is hosting this year's Arbor Day [Tree Planting] Ceremony."

Following the ceremony, Doolan, battalion command teams and community leaders enjoyed lunch together at the Thunder Inn dining facility.

Next year, Thunder Brigade leaders will go to the Freedom Protection Peace Museum in Dongducheon for the Arbor Day Tree Planting Ceremony.