USAG Yongsan and Yongsan-gu jointly observe Arbor Day

by Cpl. Park Min-je
USAG Yongsan

U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan and Yongsan-gu jointly observed Arbor Day April 5, at Yongsan Park.

Yongsan-gu Mayor Sung, Jang-hyun, USAG Yongsan Deputy to the Commander Tommy R. Mize and Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph M. James participated in the event with approximately 30 Soldiers from two units, USAG Yongsan HHC and 501st MI Brigade, and 50 Yongsan-gu staff members to plant more than 1,400 trees.

The event kicked off with the mayor welcoming everyone to the annual event. "Recently, Korea has had trouble with dust in the air. The trees we plant today will eventually grow up to purify the air that is polluted with dust," he said. "I believe the trees we're going to plant today will grow high. As trees grow, I hope the alliance between U.S. and Korea strengthens also."

Afterwards, Mize also spoke on the shared special meaning Arbor Day holds for both countries.
The volunteers encountered rain but were undaunted as Soldiers and staff continued to plant trees for more than an hour. Soldiers shoveled soil, planted trees, covered the ground with fertilizer, and watered the trees under the instruction of Yongsan-gu staff.

At first, they had no idea what to do. But after a few minutes, they felt like experts. "I feel really great now after I planted trees. I think it was a good experience for me since I was able to work together with my ROK Army counterparts," said Pvt. Michael Dotson, military intelligence analyst from alpha company, 532nd Military Intelligence Battalion, 501st MI Brigade. The event was a unique opportunity for U.S. Soldiers in the sense that they contributed to the local community while supporting a common goal and global issue.

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