It the fall of 1969 I was assigned to “A” Company 7th Aviation Battalion, 7thInfantry Division at Camp Casey, Korea. We were located in the town of Tongduchon now know as Donducheon. At the time it was considered a remote location 25 miles north of Seoul and 14 miles south of the DMZ. Shortly after my arrival I was introduced to a remarkable man who ran an orphanage, Mr Kwak Sun Yong. Mr. Kwak spent his life running orphanages and helping children. He and his family’s dedication to the children in his care motivated me and other GI to spend our spare time helping in what ever ways we could. We didn’t to anything special but just continued doing what GIs before us had done, not only in Korea but all over the world.
If you look anywhere American solders, sailors, marines and airmen have been in the past 100 years you will find them building schools, orphanages, feeding children and making friends. They do this in their off duty time with no military recognition just the self satisfaction they provided a little hope for children in need. Their stories could be found during World War I, or again in the Second World War’s European and Pacific theaters, the Korean War, Iraq, Afghanistan or all the little conflicts or postings in-between. Not just sevicemen but their families got involved, they sent clothes, medicine and money. Churches, schools, workplaces, friends and families back home got involved and still do.
This blog is dedicated to Kwak Sun Yong, the children of his orphanage and all the men and women of our armed services and the people back home who provide a little sunshine to the lives of these innocent children not just in Tongduchon, Korea but all over the world. My pictures are specific to my experience but are no different from the thousands of other GIs and people back home who gave a little of themselves and got involved.
W. Larne Gabriel
On a personal note please excuse my lack of Web/blog building sophistication. This is my first attempt and this site is a work in progress. Enjoy the photos, if you think you are in the photos and would like a free copy contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org Each photo is numbered at the bottom.
Please share your recollections or stories as they relate to your experiences with the Yang Ju Child Care Center or Kwak Sun Yong.