Kwak Sun Yong (Site under development)

Kwak family’s favorite picture 1970, Contributed by Kwak family (©Kwak01)

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 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.

This entry was posted in Kwak Sun Yong, Other Korean Orphanages, Other worldwide Orphanages, Yang Ju Child Care Center. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Kwak Sun Yong (Site under development)

  1. admin says:

    While researching the history of Kwak Sun Yong and the Yang Ju Child Care Center I came across a Korean War Veterans website and an inspiring story of courage and human kindness in the face of combat. At this point I am still trying to confirm that the Kwak Sun Yong is the same man in both stories. I was touched by the courage and generosity of the sailors on the U.S.S. Saint Paul to provide aid while they were shelling the enemy and the willingness of Kwak Sun Youg and his wife to care for the orphans at the risk of death to themselves and their young family.

    Link to “The Orphans of Fushi-to Island and the U.S.S. Saint Paul”

    Link to the Korean War Veterans, Chapter 169 and their Korean war stories

  2. Virginia Weir says:

    My name is Virginia Weir.

    I was in Korea twice from 1976 to 1979. At that time my last name was Mullins.

    I used to visit the mission often. I would take children from the mission and take them to Shalom House where Don and Julie Samson ran a Methodist Christian Serviceman’s Center.

    We were able to get GI’s from Camp Casey to donate and ultimately help fix up the mission and adopt a few of the children.

    This site brings back memories, some sweet and some sad.

    Thanks for putting this together.


  3. Steve Supek says:

    I was stationed at Camp Casey in 1978 – 1981, I had done some work at the orphanage. Back in the day, the End of the Month pay call, while most of the soldiers would be released in the afternoon, me and others would load up on a Duse with paint, nails, hammers, etc, and go to the orphanage, trying to make the childrens living conditions just a bit better. The end of the day we’d pass out candies and cookies, provided from the company’s slush funds. Very humbling and rewarding, and sad.

    Thank You.

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