SEOUL – Members of the 403rd Army Field Support Brigade participated in the 2023 Korea-U.S. Security Alliance Forum Vietnam Veterans Recognition Ceremony at the National Assembly Library Auditorium in Seoul, South Korea, Dec. 11.
The ceremony, cosponsored by the 403rd AFSB and Korea Chapter 1507 of the Non Commissioned Officers Association, was held in conjunction with a litany of other events taking place this year throughout South Korea marking the 70th anniversary of the Ironclad Commitment between the United States and the Republic of Korea.
“This season, as we hold dear the values of peace and goodwill, we are reminded of the brave sacrifices that solidified our alliance. It is a fitting moment to reflect on our journey together as we commemorate the 70th year of the ROK-US alliance, an alliance that has stood the test of time and challenges,” said Col. Henry Brown, commander, 403rd AFSB who was the featured speaker at the event.
“Seventy years ago, our nations stood together in a conflict that tested our resolve, courage, and commitment to the ideals of freedom and peace. During the Korean War, thousands of Korean Soldiers and U.S. military personnel fought valiantly for the liberty we cherish,” Brown said. “This war resulted in a significant loss of life and left many wounded – sacrifices we solemnly remember and honor, especially in this season of remembrance and gratitude.”
The event featured traditional and modern music performances and remarks from distinguished individuals including members of the National Assembly.
Col. Brown placed medals provided by the NCOA around the necks of 50 Korean Vietnam War veterans in recognition of their sacrifice and service to the effort in Vietnam. Honorees were also presented with certificates commemorating their service.
Among those honored was Charles Choi, program analyst, S-8 (Resource Management), 403rd AFSB, who is a Vietnam-era veteran of both the Republic of Korea Army and the U.S. Army.
“It was a great moment to be recognized like this, especially since it is the 70th year of the U.S. and Korea alliance,” Choi said. “It was a big surprise to be included so I was honored to receive the medal.”
From Sept. 1964 to March 1973, more than 320,000 South Korean troops served in Vietnam. More than 5,000 South Korean’s died with more than 10,000 injured.
“Our alliance, forged in the fires of the Korean War, continued to demonstrate its strength and resilience in the Vietnam War. The Republic of Korea stood with the United States in a profound act of solidarity and commitment. Around 320,000 South Korean soldiers served in Vietnam, exemplifying dedication, and bravery. Their contributions played a vital role in our joint efforts, highlighting the strength and depth of our alliance,” Brown said. “Today, we recognize and honor 50 brave individuals who represent the thousands of South Korean Soldiers who contributed to this cause. Their sacrifice underscores the strength and endurance of the ROK-US alliance. These Soldiers, embodying the spirit of courage and dedication, reflect the enduring bond and shared sacrifices between our countries.”
Members of Army Field Support Battalion-Korea joined participants from Brigade Headquarters at the event.
“It was our privilege to attend the tribute to Korean Vietnam veterans event and witness the well-deserved honor and recognition bestowed upon them,” said Thomas Gloss, deputy to the commander, AFSBn-Korea. “[It was] a poignant tribute to their valor and sacrifices that left a lasting impression on all those in attendance.”
Joseph Kim, chief, Future Operations, S-3 (Operations), 403rd AFSB, was co-emcee of the event with Park, Jiseul, a well-known television reporter and news anchor.
The ceremony was covered by the Korean Broadcasting System and several other Korean media outlets.
The Korea-U.S. Security Alliance Forum fosters relationships between Korean and American public and private entities to further their goal of strong cooperation between the two countries.
To view and download more photos of the ceremony (and other brigade events), go to the 403rd AFSB Flickr Albums page at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/afsb403d/albums/