By Staff Sgt. Cody HardingJanuary 17, 2012
SEOUL, Republic of Korea -- People to People International honored three members of the U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan Command during its 39th Annual International Friendship Night and award banquet at the Westin Chosun Hotel in Seoul, Jan. 13.
The dinner was a meeting place for the multiple chapters for PTPI across the Republic of Korea, and served to help honor the military and civilian volunteers, who help the people of South Korea. Officers and Senior Enlisted from each of the four military 'Areas' were present, including members from Camp Casey and Daegu. Gen. James Thurman, the commanding general of United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, United States Forces Korea, was also in attendance as a special guest to the banquet.
After the welcoming remarks, a roll call of the various PTPI chapters and a video presentation showing the history of PTP in Korea, Thurman spoke on the importance of building strong ties with the civilian population.
"Together, over the last 62 years, we have worked closely to defend the Republic of Korea, deter aggression and contribute to international security," Thurman said. During this time we have learned how much in common we, as a people, have with one another. Despite different languages, locations and cultures, these commonalities allow our alliance to grow strong from one between two governments and militaries to one between the people of two nations, based on common shared values like open democracy, human rights and free market economies. These shared values are what make our alliance the strongest in the world."
Once the presentation for the awards began, Col. William Huber, the Yongsan garrison commander, and 1st Sgt. Ronald Nagy, the first sergeant for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, were honored by the New Seoul Chapter of PTPI for their work with the Good Neighbor Program and their efforts to enhance the Seoul-Yongsan community.
Command Sgt. Maj. John Justis, the Garrison command sergeant major, was honored by the Hannam PTPI Chapter for his work with the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program. The program helps Soldiers adjust to life in Korea, and provides an easy way for the military community to get out and interact with the culture they may not experience on post.
Once the awards were presented,Thurman led the guests in a toast. Raising his glass, he toasted to the strength of the ROK -- U.S. Alliance and the mentality of 'Katchi Kapshida,' or 'We Go Together,' which has been the phrase shared between the two partners since the beginning of South Korea.