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    VFW national leader engages troops at Camp Humphreys

    VFW national leader engages troops at Camp Humphreys

    Photo By Jeff Nagan | John M. O'Connor, community recreation officer, Family, Morale, Welfare and...... read more read more



    Story by Jeff Nagan 

    USAG Humphreys

    CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea — The Veterans of Foreign Wars top official visited Camp Humphreys May 13, 2024, to gain a greater understanding of the mission and Soldiers’ quality of life at the largest U.S. military installation overseas.

    Having only been in his current position since late-July, Duane Sarmiento, the VFW commander-in-chief, had not yet visited Camp Humphreys. He noted the VFW’s role in advocating for service members, including those serving in Korea.

    “The VFW carries a big stick in Congress,” said Sarmiento. “When we meet the troops, we want to understand quality of life issues. When we meet with commands, we want to understand their mission and let them know what we can do for them.”

    For the past several months, the VFW has worked closely with Camp Humphreys to develop a program aimed at expediting claims for benefits offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs for service members ending their military service, said Sarmiento.

    “Within six months of your discharge … you will be able to file a claim with the VA, and on the day you discharge – how it’s supposed to work – your VA benefits hit,” said Sarmiento. “America stands behind our armed forces 150 percent. We back you and support you.”

    Sarmiento also emphasized that although military service may end, veterans need to stick together.

    “The piece you miss is the camaraderie,” said Sarmiento. “There is no better fraternity than veterans who served their country.”

    During Sarmiento’s visit to Camp Humphreys, U.S. Army Col. Ryan Workman, U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys Commander, hosted a windshield tour, showcasing how much the installation has grown and changed in the last 15 years. The windshield tour took him through both the newer areas of the installation as well as the edge of the older portions of the base.

    “The installation has expanded nearly four times its original size,” explained Workman. “The new portion of the base was designed with Soldiers in mind. Soldiers should not have to travel far to get a dining facility, fitness center, or their work section.”

    In the center of the installation is an area commonly referred to as the downtown, said Workman. The downtown area features the arts and crafts center, bowling alley, post office and recreation center. It also includes a theater, the main exchange and commissary. Downtown was designed to be within walking distance of family housing, most barracks complexes and the school district.

    Sarmiento said he was surprised by Camp Humphrey’s modern facilities and the many opportunities provided for the roughly 30,000 service members and their families who call the installation home.



    Date Taken: 05.14.2024
    Date Posted: 05.23.2024 04:07
    Story ID: 471291
    Location: KR

    Web Views: 19
    Downloads: 0