Sim, icon of U.S. Army Medical Activity-Korea history, retires after 55 years of service

By Inkyeong YunDecember 21, 2021

CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea – “We call him ‘Uncle Sim’…”

Sim, Neung-Sup is a certified nursing assistant with more than a half-century of successful work experience in nursing. He spent this time dedicating himself to serving U.S. troops in South Korea.

Sim joined the U.S. Army’s 121st Evacuation Hospital at Camp Market, Bupyeong, South Korea, in 1967. After completing military service in the South Korean Army, he sought a job that would help provide for his family and contribute to those serving to defend South Korea’s freedom. Sim found exactly that, working as a CNA for the primary military medical facility in U.S. Forces Korea.

Throughout his time with the hospital he gained firsthand experiences and great memories serving with U.S. medical personnel and witnessed the growth of the organization.

Sim recently celebrated the finale of his 55 years of service during a retirement ceremony on Nov. 24. He worked most of his career in the Emergency Department, where he experienced and contributed to the pinnacle of the U.S. Army Medical Department’s urgent care capability.

“I lived through many things and made so many memories while working in this organization," Sim said. "The names have changed many times, from the 121st Evacuation Hospital to the 121st General Hospital to the 121st Combat Support Hospital, then to Brian Allgood Army Community Hospital in Yongsan, and now Brian D. Allgood Army Community Hospital at Camp Humphreys.

"However, what we do inside the hospital never changes; taking care of Soldiers and their families, which became my calling,” Sim added.

Since the Korean War of 1950-53, the U.S. Army has provided medical care for U.S. forces on the Korean Peninsula. Today, this historical presence is continued with the 549th Hospital Center and BDAACH. The hospital at U.S. Army Garrison Camp Humphreys began full patient services on Nov. 15, 2019, after relocating from U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan.

Sim was asked what memory stuck out the most to him as he prepared to end his working relationship with the hospital.

“The most memorable thing throughout my career is undoubtedly the people; the Soldiers I had helped treat and care for when I worked at the Emergency Department," he said. "I am an 80-year-old man now, but somehow I still clearly remember those thankful faces leaving the hospital after being taken care of.”

Sim shared thoughts and memories of countless Soldiers and staff he had worked with side-by-side for almost 55 years; those who stood by him through tough times, and the leaders who gave him a sense of inclusion to the organization.

“I have worked with countless young nurses throughout my career and their passion to take care of patients reminds me of the same young man I was," Sim said, smiling. "I started calling them ‘young man/woman’ and they started calling me ‘Uncle Sim’."

Capt. Dan Quizio, a registered nurse working in the Medical Surgical Unit, shared his memories of working alongside Sim.

“I had the pleasure of working with ‘Uncle Sim’ the past six months I have been here," Quizio said. "He is always quick to offer help and has treated us all as his family. I not only admire his compassionate heart for everyone around him, but also his lifetime dedication and service to this hospital.”

While attending Sim’s retirement ceremony, the hospital command team showed their respect and sincere gratitude for his dedication to the organization, a sterling example of the strong and enduring ROK-U.S. partnership that has existed since the Korean War.

“Command sergeant major and I are truly in awe of Mr. Sim, who dedicated his life to serving the Soldiers and their families of U.S. Forces in the Republic of Korea,” said Col. Huy Luu, the hospital commander.

“His service to the organization is such an inspiration to all of us and he will truly be missed by all of us,” Luu added.

The command team presented Sim with the Civilian Service Commendation Medal and other awards during the ceremony to show their appreciation for him.

When asked, Uncle Sim shared his plan for life after retirement.

“I will miss seeing everyone at work every morning, as they have become part of my life," he said. "I will try to enjoy small things in life and learn how to exercise.”