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    11th Engineers volunteer at Republic of Korea Orphanage

    CAMP HUMPHREYS, SOUTH KOREA

    10.03.2019

    Story by Sgt. COURTNEY DAVIS 

    2nd Combat Aviation Brigade

    11th Engineers volunteer at Republic of Korea Orphanage

    By Sgt. Courtney Davis
    2nd Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs
    PYEONGTAEK, Republic of Korea – Behind a dirt mound, a construction site, and along a beaten trail, there is a haven made for local Korean orphans. Many of the children here were left on the steps of a church by parents incapable of caring for them.
    Soldiers assigned to 11th Engineer Battalion, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, began volunteering at the Jacob’s Home orphanage for the first time, Oct. 3.
    Despite being in the orphanage, the children continue to smile and laugh. There is so much joy inside of them and they just need a little attention said Capt. Joseph Campbell, 11th Engineer Battalion chaplain and Erie, Pennsylvania native.
    Caregivers provide love and support to all of the orphans. The caregivers do their best to make the children of Jacob’s Home feel like they are a part of a family.
    “The kids here are beautiful,” Campbell said. “A lot of the kids have been abandoned and neglected. They are looking for love and affection from others.”
    During the engineers’ visit, the older children met the Soldiers with mixed reactions. Some of the children looked at the Soldiers and then continued with their daily activities. Other children ran straight to them with books and toys ready to play.
    “I have been to other orphanages in other places,” said Korean Pfc. Jaeyoon Ro, a KATUSA from Daegu, Republic of Korea. “I was wondering how the kids would get along with us, but as soon as I stepped in the door, one of the kids came running straight to me. That was really good.”
    In another part of the orphanage, the other Soldier-volunteers held, cuddled, and bounced infant-aged children on their knees. They laughed with the babies, climbing up and down slides, while some of the other children entertained themselves by playing with their reflection.
    Volunteers like Pfc. Kinaysha Rosario, a Caguas, Puerto Rico native, and supply specialist, said her heart was pounding with love as she held one of the baby boys in her lap.
    Rosario also noticed how well the house moms took care of the kids.
    “That’s what I like about being here,” Rosario said. “The way caregivers interact with the babies, you can tell they really care.”
    The caregivers and the children have a bond so strong that it’s not unusual for the children to call their Jacob’s Home employees, “mom.”
    “Running an orphanage like Jacob’s Home is logistically complicated,” said Euchon Kim, a Jacob’s Home caregiver, and a Hwasung city, Republic of Korea native. “I worked with the older kids for 13 years and realized a lot of them were not prepared when they came over to the school aged orphanage. I want to help the younger children so they can receive a good education before heading over to the school age orphanage.”
    When it was time for Campbell and the other Soldiers to leave, their impact was obvious. Some children begged them to stay while others had sullen expressions.
    “Everyone enjoyed coming together to make someone’s day a little brighter,” Campbell said.
    Campbell said he planned on visiting the orphanage twice a month. This is in addition to the visits from 3rd General Support Bn., 2nd Aviation Regiment, and 602nd Aviation Support Bn., both a part of 2nd CAB, headquartered at Camp Humphreys. Volunteering is an opportunity for the Soldiers to give back to the community.
    “I’m glad we got to meet with the kids and play with them,” Jaeyoon Ro said. “Also, I’m glad we got to help them with the cleaning. The experience was better than I expected. I think that if people come to Jacob’s Home once, they will want to come again.”
    The battalion visited the orphanage for their second time Oct. 17 and will continue to join other 2CAB units as they support the orphanage.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 10.03.2019
    Date Posted: 11.15.2019 06:16
    Story ID: 351860
    Location: CAMP HUMPHREYS, KR 
    Hometown: DAEGU, 27, KR
    Hometown: HWASUN-GUN, 49, KR
    Hometown: CAGUAS, PR
    Hometown: ERIE, PA, US
    Hometown: KENT, WA, US
    Hometown: LOS ANGELES, CA, US
    Hometown: NEW YORK, NY, US

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