BUSAN GWANG'YEOGSI, South Korea - Approximately 60 students from Dongo Elementary and Kyungmin Girl’s Middle School visited Camp Red Cloud June 7 as part of the 2nd Infantry Division Good Neighbor Program.
“The main goal of the Good Neighbor Program is to introduce the American military culture to the local communities and vice versa,” said Capt. Simon Chang, the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion chaplain and the project manager for the Good Neighbor Program. “The program has proven itself to be effective in strengthening relationships between Korea and the U.S.”
Students began their tour at the CRC Theater where HHBN commander, Lt. Col. Christopher Durham, greeted them and answered questions about Army life and the U.S.
After the theater, the students visited the 2nd Inf. Div. museum, where they were educated on the long-standing alliance between the U.S. and Korea. They were then split into groups and visited the library, post exchange, commissary, fire station and Engagement Skills Trainer 2000, an indoor, simulated, electronic firing range.
“This visit has been planned to commemorate the month of Hoguk-bohun (the beginning of the Korean War),” said Choi Kyung-hee, an English teacher for third and fourth grades at Dongo Elementary. “I wanted the students to learn how much help the American soldiers gave us during those difficult times, not to mention what they do daily.”
The students enjoyed their time at the base with the soldiers who accompanied them.
“We are trying to get a combination of Koreans and soldiers involved to give ideas and views on what’s going on the base,” said Sgt. Brian Terrell, a chaplain assistant. “I want the students to realize that there are not always bad things about us.”
“American soldiers are so close to us but I had no idea what they do,” said Heo Won-seo, a sixth-grader at Dongo Elementary. “I am positive my view has widened. It was a valuable experience.”