CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea - Since the disastrous Korean War in
the 1950's, the alliance between the United States of America and
South Korea has grown stronger each year. In the succeeding decades
of constant threats and military provocations from North Korea, the
relationship between the U.S. and South Korea has been built on
mutual trust and shared hardship. This alliance has not grown with
one giant leap, but with thousands of small steps.
On Nov. 22, 2014 ... Soldiers from the 4th Attack Reconnaissance
Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment, 2nd Combat Avn. Brigade and Pyeongtaek University students took another step toward closer
All Soldiers from 4th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd
Aviation Regiment, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade and Pyeongtaek
University students stop to pose for photos after hiking Mt.
Woomyeon on Nov. 22, 2014 at Mt. Woomyeon, South Korea.
As part of the brigade's Good Neighbor Program, nine
Soldiers from 4-2 ARB led by 1st Lt. Sarah Jeon, and seven
Pyeongtaek University students climbed Mt. Woomyeon
together. The purpose of the Good Neighbor Program is to
bring the Soldiers out to Korean communities such as
Pyeongtaek City, to interact and help the community with
their skills and to warm hearts. The program holds more than
60 events annually ranging from teaching English classes at
the middle school to supporting communities to other
The most recent volunteer trip was
hiking Mt. Woomyeon, a popular attraction for its
picturesque scenery, located in Seochodong Seochogu, Seoul.
While climbing through the dense forest, Jeon and 4-2 ARB
Soldiers assisted the Korean students with conversational
English as the students explained their college life.
Although the Soldiers and students never met each other
before that day and they had language barriers, the sense of
sharing a common experience - hiking, or being tired -
brought them close very fast.
The conversation was a mix of English and Korean, and eager hand
and body gestures emphasized that each person was there to learn,
and make friends. The Soldiers and students enjoyed hiking on the
ruddy fallen leaves and were never bothered by the steep wooden
steps, watery soil, or fine drizzle.
They arrived at the peak
of Mt. Woomyeon before they knew it. Both U.S. Soldiers and
Pyeongtaek University students took a break to enjoy the autumnal
scenery of the mountain painted orange and yellow against a blue
sky. Some Soldiers played with sports equipment for hikers. Jeon and
the students talked about Army life and the difference between Korea
and the U.S. Army.
As the rain drops got thicker, everyone began to descent the
muddy, slippery trail. Those who went first kindly warned the ones
following how slippery the trail was. Fortunately, despite the wet
stairs and swampy grounds, everyone came down the mountain safely
and took an amazing group photo in the Mt. Woomyeon forest.
What 4-2 ARB Soldiers and Pyeongtaek University students completed
is not merely a hiking or a cultural exchange activity. Participants
in the Good Neighbor Program contributed to a strong alliance and
friendship, which includes Koreans and Americans, service members,
Family members, and civilians; everyone working together to maintain
stability and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula.
By U.S. Army Pfc. Chung Il Kim
Comment on this article