Deployed servicemembers experience South Korean culture

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Stephen Collier
  • 7th Air Force Public Affairs
Clanging, banging and thumping were the sounds as deployed U.S. servicemembers experienced traditional Korean culture Aug. 20 at the tent city on Osan Air Base.

Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines deployed here in support of Ulchi Focus Lens 2007 got a firsthand feel for traditional Korean attire and entertainment through the South Korean air force's Traditional Korean Culture Experience.

1st Lt. Yang Seok Hwan, a South Korean air force operations command public affairs officer, said the South Korean airmen wanted to show their friendship, family atmosphere and gratitude toward those who traveled far to help defend them.

"Most U.S. (servicemembers) come to Korea during UFL and it is their first time in Korea," he said. "We can show them a little bit of Korea and this is the first impression for them."

During the cultural experience, members slipped into Korean men and women's ancient wear. They also took part in playing classic Korean symbols and drums. Soon after, members were treated to Korean games.

"Being in another culture, it's good to see what they do," said Marine Cpl. Randall Blankenship of the 1st Marine Air Wing weapons technician (armor). "These games are fun, too. I've also gotten out and seen the sights. Just the experience and knowledge of their culture is something I'll take back with me."

The U.S. and Korean alliance is important to keeping peace and stability on the peninsula, and events such as this help to build that alliance, Lieutenant Yang said.

"During UFL, (Americans) come here to work together to practice defending Korea," the lieutenant said. "This is a friendly situation for them and a break from the hard training and work. During the cultural experience, both U.S. and Korean can rest and come together and have a good impression between one another." 

Comment on this story (comments may be published on Air Force Link)

View the comments/letters page