Dragon Warriors mentor children at youth center
The U.S. and Korean Augmentation to the U.S. Army Soldiers from Company D, 1st Battalion, 72nd Armor Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, have a reputation of working tirelessly to better their local Korean community. Recently, these Dragon Warriors served as mentors to the children of Yeoncheon Youth Center.
“The Yeoncheon Youth Center community service project is an effective way to strengthen the relationship between the community and U.S. Soldiers,” said Sgt. Song Sin-young, a senior KATUSA soldier with 1st Bn., 72nd Armor Regt.
The youth center provides opportunities for U.S. and KATUSA Soldiers to mentor, interact with and build a big-brother relationship with local children.
For Daniel E. Sheppard, a Soldier with Company D, sharing his time with the local community is not something new.
“I have done community service back home,” said Sheppard. “It’s something I have always felt I had to do and I enjoy helping children out.”
The Soldiers from Company D made it their responsibility to build and maintain a good relationship with the center.
“We have been working with the youth center for more than six months and we enjoy going over and spending some time with the children,” said Song.
More than 40 children spend a great deal of time at the center due to their parents having long work hours.
“Most of the kids at the center have only one parent,” said Sheppard. “I remember what it feels like to have your one parent work all the time.”
For Sheppard, growing up without a brother is what initially motivated him to volunteer at the youth center.
“Something as simple as throwing a ball or playing soccer with kids brings joy to me and to them,” said Sheppard, “they appreciate it.”
Finding volunteers in Company D to spend time with these children is never an issue.
“Soldiers in this unit are always volunteering,” said 1st Sgt. David A. Snyder, the unit’s first sergeant. “Sometimes we have too many and we have to turn some guys away.”
Such an outpouring of support is actually the result of passion, not obligation, said Sheppard.
“I am honored to give back to the community,” said Song. “It’s not every day we get the chance to be big brothers and mentors to kids in our community.