Photo By Sgt. Michael Orton | Pfc. Dongjoon Eun is assigned with the Eighth Army Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion and Headquarters Support Company as Korean Augmentation to the United States Army, or KATUSA. All male Korean citizens are required to serve in their national military, but some sign on as KATUSAs to work with U.S. forces. Eun is currently working with Eighth Army during operation Key Resolve.
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WARRIOR BASE, South Korea - Pfc. Dongjoon Eun works as a Korean Augmentee to the United States Army also known as a KATUSA. He has only served in the South Korean military for eight months, but already enjoys the changes that have come about in his life since joining the military.
“At first it was tough because I was a civilian transforming into a soldier,” Eun said. “I needed more discipline and had to be more conscious about how I behaved, because I represent another country while acting as a diplomat of my country.”
Eun is fluent in English after having studied abroad in the United States. Some of his fondest stateside memories are making friends and playing sports as a high school student in Virginia. He also enjoyed the traditional Thanksgiving dinner with the American family he lived with and then going shopping on Black Friday early the next morning. Overall, Eun thoroughly enjoyed his time in the U.S. and looks forward to going back.
“It was a really good experience,” Eun said. “I got to meet a really diverse group of people and I experienced many opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise.”
After his time ends in the military, Eun will return to the U.S. to continue his education at Cornell University, where he has already enrolled. Eun has already figured out one important aspect of American college life, pizza is his favorite food.
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WARRIOR BASE, 26, KR
This work, Dongjoon Eun serves KATUSA, by SGT Michael Orton, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.