USFK holds 2013 'Good Neighbor Program' award ceremony
OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) Command recognized and honored 13 awardees of the Good Neighbor Program during a ceremony and reception held at the Dragon Hill Lodge in Yongsan, central Seoul, Republic of Korea, Sept. 23, 2013.
Senior Airman Clarissa Granger, 51st Maintenance Squadron Accessories Flight training manager, 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, ROK, won in the Individual (U.S.) category as the Ambassador for the Alliance Good Neighbor.
"This ceremony is a small token of appreciation to our volunteers for their selfless service and volunteer efforts with Korean friends and neighbors who have generously given their time and efforts to support activities that foster good will, mutual respect and better understanding between our two great nations," said Gen. James D. Thurman, United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command/USFK commander. "The men and women of USFK salute and hold their 'Good Neighbors' in high esteem."
The GNP award ceremony has recognized individuals and organizations for exceptional contributions resulting in a better quality of life for military members and/or enhancement of Korean-American relations since 2003.
"Senior Airman Granger is a true ambassador for the alliance," said Col. Brook Leonard, 51st FW commander. "It is really special to not only build professional relationships, but to also take personal time and effort to better relationships between the U.S. and the ROK.
"It's an honor to be able to recognize and appreciate efforts to foster goodwill between the U.S. and ROK through outstanding community service," the 51st FW commander continued. "It truly makes a difference and the GNP stands as a cornerstone of successful ROK-U.S. relations."
Volunteers gave their time, talents and energy in an effort to enrich the quality of life in the Korean- American communities which contributed to strengthening the bonds of friendships between nations.
"Collectively, U.S. service members, civilian employees and their families in the ROK are or have already reaped great benefits from the ROK-U.S. alliance and with the implementation of the USFK GNP, the 60-year-old alliance will continue to flourish and grow," Thurman said .
The GNP encompasses a wide array of programs that actively engage the local community, government, media, business, schools and military for better public understanding and appreciation of the USFK mission on the peninsula.
"Ever since she arrived in Korea, she's been active in the community," saidMaster Sgt. Quincy Tucker, 51st MXS AF chief and Granger's supervisor. "Through her own initiative, she contributed 13 hours to the Language Exchange program; she has learned Korean and taught English through the Study Buddy group at the International Community Center; she's active with the Osan Junior Enlisted Council and is a member of the Pyeongtaek Officials Crazy for English program. She is also involved in the Relay for Life, Easter Egg Hunt, Combined Federal Campaign, Main Gate fund raiser, and Troops for Trash events and programs."
Granger arrived in Korea in November 2012 and has since taken full advantage of her opportunity to assist and immerse herself in the local Korean community any way possible.
"Just jump right in," said Granger. "Immerse yourself in it. Check your emails. Check out public announcements because there is always something out there for you to do."