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Korean Activities

January 03, 2011 | Specialist Dennis Sweet

My first duty station was at Camp Casey, Korea.  I was there from '06-'08 and loved every bit of it.  Every week I was out and about exploring, having fun.  I went to Songjeon Beach and Hyundai Beach down by Japan's waters.  I went mt hiking up two different mountains several times.  I taught 5th and 6th grade English on the weekends.  I entered bowling tournaments.  I went to the Seoul Tower several times.  Coex Mall.  I even stayed overnight at a Korean friend's home with him and his family and ate with them.  Beer factory tours.  The list goes on and on.

The thing that bothers me most is how these soldiers can go over there and do nothing but drink.  For those of you who dont know let me tell you a story.  Korea has a high rate of human trafficking and prostitution.  Girls are brought over from Russia, Philippines, etc to entertain the soldiers.  They are slaves, and their only way out is to buy their freedom or serve their time.  Their job is to weasel money out of soldiers by getting them to buy $20 glasses of juice or get them to keep coming back to the bar.  A lot of hush, hush goes on behind the curtains also.

For the younger soldiers who seem to be more vulnerable to this disease I would recommend going to Seoul.  There are nice places there where you can drink without being bothered by drinky girls, eat local Korean dishes, dance, play pool, etc.  And I would recommend the war museum; omg...i loved it!!!  You can actually step inside the planes, armored vehicles, stand behind the howitzers, space shuttle, etc.  Also, pull aside a KATUSA and ask him when "children's day" is.  Go to their celebration and make your own toys to play with.  Me and my KATUSA made bow n arrows and took em back to Casey with us.

Make a friend with a KATUSA and have him show you around the sites.  Go see the king's throne at the gates of Seoul.  Step into North Korea at the welcome center and walk through the infiltration tunnel.  Go to concerts, both Korean and American.  Get involved with the community.  There is something for everybody.

Even with the north acting dumb as usual you can find interesting stuff to do close to your base.  All you have to do is ask.  If you are going to drink, please dont buy into the drinky girls "I Love You" speech.  I recommend staying away from them if possible.  I got financially in trouble with them; spending all my money in one weekend is not love.


2 Comments

  • Justin
    7/6/2011 5:20 PM
    I appreciate that you're telling soldiers to go see the country and that you recognize the sex slavery going on, but I would add that the Army should stop allowing soldiers to support the sex trade and start educating soldiers about the reality of it.

    As someone who served in Korea back in 2003-2004 its hard for me to blame the women for their circumstance but easy for me to hold my fellow soldiers accountable for laying down greenbacks to rape them every night. As well as the institutional denial that prevents serious action from being taken.
  • Korean-American adoptee
    4/5/2012 3:03 PM
    I really admire you guys who posted here regarding this issue! I was adopted to America from Korea many years ago. I have been told many times as I grew up that I am "lucky that I was rescued" and that I "would have probably ended up being a prostitute" had I not been adopted. I now know that is highly unlikely (I have been reunited with my birth family and know that would never have happened). But I know there is a high incidence of this type of slavery and trafficking. The soldiers who engage in this are probably young and unaware of the problem they are re-inforcing. I don't like to think they consciously disregard the issue in favor of gratifying their most base desires. Educating these guys before they hit the ground is the best preventative and then enforcing US military rules.

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