News: Thunder KATUSAs grow stronger through prayer luncheon
Story by Pfc. Gun Woo Song
CAMP CASEY, South Korea – People pray. Regardless of their religious backgrounds, when facing difficulties or having a hard time, they pray. Praying happens in many forms, but its purpose is to calm the mind and give people strength to continue. For Soldiers bravely serving their nation, this concept is especially relevant.
More than 50 Korean Augmentation to the United States Army Soldiers from 210th Field Artillery Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, held a prayer luncheon with the brigade chaplain, Maj. Geunhyung Lee, June 13 on Camp Casey, South Korea.
According to Lee, the prayer luncheon was held to show appreciation and solidarity for the Soldiers currently serving their nation, and to give them the opportunity to pay homage to their predecessors.
The senior officer and enlisted advisers from the Republic of Korea army were in attendance to pray and spend time with their Soldiers. Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Brinton, the senior enlisted adviser for 210th FA Brigade, 2nd ID, joined as the guest speaker.
“In Korea, June is a month to honor the veterans and those bravely defending their nation,” said Lee. “I wanted others to know how much KATUSAs contribute to the Army and that their hard efforts do not go unnoticed.”
Cpl. Song Jae-ik, a native of Ulsan, South Korea, and the brigade senior KATUSA, talked about how the event was an opportunity for the Soldiers to interact and communicate.
“It was a chance for the Soldiers from different battalions in the brigade to come together with the brigade chaplain, sergeant major, and the brigade’s ROK leaders,” said Song. “It was great that we were able to eat together and communicate with one another.”
Song used an old adage to describe the esprit de corps built among senior leaders and Soldiers.
“There is a saying that people are most open-minded and relaxed when they are having a meal together,” said Song. “We took the opportunity to build trust with each other, knowing that my battle buddy’s got my back.”
Lee said he hoped such exchanges among the KATUSA Soldiers would provide them with aspirations and guidance as they move forward in their military careers.
“It would be an opportunity for the young Soldiers or those new to the military to see how their seniors have done, or are doing,” said Lee.
For Pfc. Kang Moon-ki, an information management specialist assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 210th FA Brigade, 2nd ID, the luncheon gave him the courage to take the next step forward in the military.
“It was great to have the chaplain and Command Sgt. Maj. Brinton come in to give great messages,” said Kang. “It helped me set a goal during my time here and motivated me to give my best at everything I do.”
Brinton, as guest speaker, spoke about the important coalition between the two countries and the vital role that KATUSAs play.
“I would personally like to thank you for your dedication and professionalism as members of our team,” said Brinton. “Our strong alliance is based on mutual respect and trust. The U.S. and the Republic of Korea has formed a true alliance.”