CAMP HOVEY, South Korea – Artillery Soldiers are taking time to volunteer outside Camp Hovey, South Korea, working with an area school to strengthen English teaching.
At the Dongducheon Middle School, six Soldiers and two Korean Augmentees from the 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, lead small group conversational English instruction once a week on Thursdays.
"For Soldiers forward deployed to Korea, interaction with Korean nationals creates a better understanding of the local culture and helps Soldiers build a bond with the people they stand ready to defend," said Capt. Robert Wolfe, senior partnership coordinator. "Visiting schools and teaching young Koreans English is one of the best ways we accomplish that goal."
One of more than 17 partnerships with civilian organizations in the brigade, Soldiers from the 1-82 FA, 1st ABCT, lead small groups of 4-5 students in conversational English topics chosen by teachers at the school. Soldiers from the artillery unit also work with teachers at the Sang Pae Elementary School in Dongducheon City.
The purpose of the visits has been to foster community between the American military personnel, based on Camp Case and Camp Hovey, and the Dongducheon community that hosts our bases in Area 1, said Wolfe.
Initially, students and Soldiers filled out questionnaires, and then discussed their answers in small groups.
"It was a privilege to have the opportunity to speak with the Korean middle-school students," said Spc. Precious Cooper, one of the Soldiers involved in the visit. "I’ve learned that they appreciate the little in things in life that I often take for granted."
Working with the students was a good experience for Soldiers.
"They were very outgoing and full of personality, and were willing to learn to speak English," said Cooper. "It was an awesome experience that I will never forget."