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Yongsan Legacy Newsletter - July 2023
To celebrate the first edition of Yongsan Legacy Newsletter, it seemed appropriate to dedicate the entire month to feature stories about the day these men arrived and their journeys.
Like your child’s birth, the first day of school, and wedding day, there are days you remember for the rest of your life. These occasions tend to conjure up a range of mixed feelings, and these feelings may be the only true witness of who you are at that moment in time and space confined to your memory.
Through the stories of the men who landed in South Korea in the late ’50s and early ’60s, readers can get a glimpse of the psychology of the young men facing unimaginable uncertainties in a land that they know nothing about.
We start with three men, George Breen, Paul Black, and John Nowell.
George Breen remembers the day he received the letter from the government, “Never have I become so sick to my stomach, so quickly! I sat down in my chair. My Mother now came into the room. I must have appeared sick because my mother asked, “What is wrong”? I told her that I had been Drafted! She began to cry.”
George Breen in front of the tents that he pitched during training in 1958. Photo Credit: George Breen
Paul Black remembers his arrival in Incheon, “The next morning, we headed for Incheon. Once in the Incheon area, we were put on smaller tender boats to go ashore. Then we were given our mail from the last 2 weeks. It so happened the mailman was from my hometown too. He was more excited about me getting mail from Indiana than I was.”
Paul Black standing in front of HQ Seoul Area Command Unit 8096, Yongsan Garrison in 1958. Photo: Paul Black
John Nowell remembers missing a Christmas Day on his journey to South Korea, “Then we headed out to cross the rest of the Pacific and came over to the International Dateline, and guess what? This week was the 24th of December, and I woke up on the 26th… I didn't have a Christmas, and this was the only time that I've never had Christmas.”
John Nowell, in a white shirt, posing with his colleagues in Camp Casey. (Photo Credit: John Nowell)
We will add more stories about landings in Yongsan Garrison every week for the entire month of July.
If you want to share your own landing-in-Yongsan Garrison story as a part of this edition, please email your story with images to email@example.com. We are looking for stories from different decades from the 50s all the way up to recent arrivals to South Korea. No matter what year, your stories and memories of Yongsan Garrison are important and valuable.
We look forward to hearing from you. Thank you!
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