Dongducheon Volunteer Center commences 38th English Program

U.S. Army photo by Capt. Daniel Parker
U.S. Army photo by Capt. Daniel Parker

Dongducheon Volunteer Center commences 38th English Program

by Staff Sgt. Almon Bate
210th Field Artillery Brigade

DONGDUCHEON CITY, Republic of Korea – With the support of Dongducheon citizens and Soldiers from 210th Field Artillery Brigade (FAB), 2nd Infantry Division/ROK-U.S. Combined (RUCD), Dongducheon Volunteer Center (DDC VC) commenced the 38th English program, Dongducheon City, March 7, 2019.

The DDC launched this year’s English program with the Korean and American English Village Opening Ceremony.

More than 500 Dongducheon citizens have benefited from the DDC VC English program, which Soldiers from 210th FAB have continually supported the past 12 years, since 2007.

“It facilitates bonding between two groups where we get to learn from each other, know each other,” said Lt. Col. Shane Doolan, native of Brooklyn, N.Y., deputy commander of 210th FAB. “As they volunteer to teach English, they’re also sharing ideas, things we do, the small things we do in each culture, and so we get a better cultural understanding and shared understanding of one another.”

Doolan also said that volunteering helps to convey the true meaning behind U.S. Army values, including selfless service.

“As Koreans see U.S. Soldiers, they may see us as people who just take, take, take,” said Doolan. “When they see that we’re volunteering, they see that we’re not here just for ourselves, but we’re here for all of Korea to be better.”

The DDC VC’s English program is aimed to help DDC citizens learn and improve their English skills, but 210th FAB Soldiers and DDC citizens have also developed close bonds through the years.

“As we do volunteer events, things are getting better and relations are better,” said Duck Hwan Son, native of DDC, Chairman of DDC VC.

Son said the English program has become so popular that people have travelled from Seoul, just to attend the program and meet with the Soldiers. He also enjoys other volunteer events in DDC, including making kimchi and delivering charcoal to help disadvantaged DDC citizens.

“I’m looking forward to more events in the future,” said Son. “I think these kinds of events are really good and really enjoy the presence of U.S. Army in Korea.”

Photo Caption:
U.S. Army Lt. Col. Shane Doolan, deputy commanding officer, 210th Field Artillery Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, front center, poses for a group photo alongside Son Duck Hwan, Dongducheon City Volunteer Center Chairman, following the opening ceremony of the 38th english program at the Dongducheon Volunteer Center, Dongducheon-city, South Korea, March 7, 2019. Every Tuesday and Thursday Soldiers from Camp Casey have the opportunity to volunteer their time to help local citizens learn english. This english language program fosters and strengthens the existing relationship with the local Dongducheon community outside Camp Casey.

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