Army brigade grows roots with Korean neighbors
CAMP CASEY, South Korea - To represent shared commitment and longstanding partnership with their Korean neighbors, the 210th Field Artillery Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, held a tree planting ceremony May 13 alongside Dongducheon citizens and city leaders.
The annual Arbor Day commemoration, hosted in collaboration with the Dongducheon Volunteer Center, serves to strengthen ties among the U.S. military and local community through the symbolic planting of Evergreen trees, which are known for their year-round foliage and green color.
"We are very proud to demonstrate our continuing partnership and shared pride in our community," said Lt. Col. Michael J. Kimball, commander of 1st Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, 210th Field Artillery Brigade.
"This tree is a sign of our enduring friendship," Kimball continued. "It has strong roots, which will grow deep into the ground to form a solid foundation, where we will continue to build [enduring relations]."
The ceremonial trees are donated by the city of Dongducheon and have been planted at Camp Casey every other year since 2008. The latest botanical addition now shares its roots with three others in a grassed area beside the unit's headquarters.
"It is through great events like these that our Soldiers connect with the people of Dongducheon, a community that has welcomed and opened their arms to United States forces," said Kimball.
During years that trees are not planted at Camp Casey, members of the artillery brigade assist DVC organizers and other city officials in digging a suitable home at different locations around the city.
"Our city, Dongducheon, and the U.S. Army go way back," said Mayor Oh Se-chang, who hopes to continue planting trees as long as the brigade remains in Dongducheon. "We have an inseparable relationship."