PYONGTAEK, Republic of Korea — Students and faculty from three local schools in Pyongtaek visited U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys in October as part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Far East District’s Good Neighbor Program.
Students from Pyongtaek Girls’ High, Chungdam Middle School, and Paengsung Elementary School were able to learn about projects ongoing by FED as well as experience the climbing wall at the Zoeckler Station Gym and lunch at the Red Dragon Inn Dining Facility.
Maj. John Burrescia encouraged the students of Pyongtaek Girls’ High School to consider a future in engineering and noted the current generation of engineers who are employed by FED.
“The U.S. came to Korea to help at first, but now we are receiving help from you to build U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys.”
To learn more about engineering, Ha Chae-un, Engineer for the Humphreys Area Office and also a Pyongtaek resident, briefed the students about the USAG Humphreys expansion project and showed them a fly-over video highlighting the future garrison.
The briefing included many “fun facts” about the garrison expansion project to help the kids visualize the scope of work to be done including a comparison to a popular amusement park.
“When finished, U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys will be ten times larger than Lotte World,” said Ha.
Afterwards, the students put on hard hats and braved the chilly wind to view a large portion of the project from an overlook to see firsthand just what the fill site and construction projects look like today.
Members of FED also presented all three schools with about 800 books a piece. The books were collected during FED’s Good Neighbor Program book drive which also received generous support from the National Honor Society at Seoul American High School. The schools will use the books to build an English library.
“We believe that the FED Book Donation will help students grow emotionally and bring developments to the reading culture,” said Pak Kyong-sin, the Principal of Chungdam Middle School. “Students will find dreams and hopes, and gain wisdom and insights in life by reading theses books. Also by reading books, students can gain indirect experience.”
The District’s Good Neighbor Program for local students in Pyongtaek, known as “Kids in Hard Hats,” not only introduces students to their local U.S. Forces Korea neighbors but is also a tool for strengthening the alliance.
“Chungdam Middle School will continue its efforts to be a school that promotes education through books, and raise leaders who will play major roles to help the ROK-US Alliance,” said Pak.