Suwon Air Base - Approximately 80 Soldiers and Families from 6th Battalion 52nd Air and Missile Defense Battalion based here made their highly anticipated trip to The House that Develops Dreams, the largest orphanage in Suwon City on Nov. 14.
The House that Develops Dreams orphanage has about 95 students between the ages of first grade through high school; most have spent their entire lives there. Most of the teachers grew up at the orphanage and have returned after earning a degree in education.
The Soldiers and families that went on Saturday took donations of toys and toothbrushes. The concept of the toothbrush was developed with the idea that as each of the students use the toothbrush day and night, they will be able to remember the Soldiers that brought it for them.
The day began with a welcome brief from the director of the orphanage, Kim Ji-chun and the commander of 6-52 AMD BN, Lt. Col. Robert L. Kelley. The students and Soldiers partnered up and stood side-by-side as they listened to the opening brief.
The students and Soldiers then moved with their respective groups into their different rooms and spend time together.
The highlight of the trip was the "Angel Tree." Each of the students wrote his or her name and wish on a piece of paper and hung it on a Christmas tree. Then, the Soldiers took a name off the tree and became the student's sponsor. The Soldiers and students shared experiences and time together. Although there was some difficulty in communication, both Soldier and student could feel and understand the relationship they started to build.
After sharing some refreshments, the Soldiers and students took a memorial photo. Although it was only a few hours since they met and shared time together, the Soldiers of 6-52 AMD BN had difficulty getting back on the bus to leave the orphanage. However, they were able to smile and with the thought of visiting the students the near future and inviting them to Suwon Air Base.
As the event ended Kelley offered his thoughts.
"In my 18 months of command, I can confidently say that this is one of the proudest moments that I can claim and it was all possible because of the great Soldiers that are part of 6-52 and the effort that you have put forth to volunteer for your time today," he said.