KABUL, Afghanistan — Five days after the entire U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic District-North (TAN) command at Qalaa House attended a memorial ceremony celebrating the life of Hyun K. Shin, 168 team mates honored Shin by running, walking or biking more than a thousand miles in his memory sporting bright red command shirts.
Shin, a logistics specialist, had been supporting Operation Enduring Freedom with TAN for 245 days of a one-year commitment when he died here April 7 while at work. His death was not the result of enemy actions, and the cause is being investigated per standard procedures.
“The Shin,” as he introduced himself to the officer-in-charge at Jalalabad Resident Office, was a U.S. Army Veteran, serving as a medic from March 1976 to May 1977 with a tour in Korea. He began work at his home San Francisco District since April 2010. Col. Alfred A. Pantano, Jr., TAN commander described Shin as “one of our team mates and superstars” in a heartfelt note to the command announcing the sudden and unexpected loss.
Co-workers in 10 locations here ran, walked or biked a total of 1027.9 miles, more than quadrupling the goal of 245 miles…one mile for every day Shin served alongside his TAN team members April 19. During warm-ups and rest periods people shared anecdotes and memories of the charismatic Shin. Many displayed photos of Shin smiling broadly, something for which he was widely known.
Mission complete: Pantano urged all members “to celebrate his life and extraordinary service and sacrifices for our great nation.” He concluded, “Undoubtedly, Mr. Shin’s work ethic, extraordinary example, and legacy will inspire us always!” The Century Run/Walk/Bike in memory of “the Shin” April 19 is one more pleasant recollection TAN members will have of our comrade from service here.