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2ID troops help locals fight the cold | by U.S. Army Korea (Historical Image Archive)
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2ID troops help locals fight the cold

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2ID troops help locals fight the cold

 

By Staff Sgt. Kenneth Pawlak

1BCT Public Affairs

 

CAMP CASEY – Soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Division have teamed up to help local Korean families who’ve had a tough time keeping warm in the freezing weather.

 

They got up money to buy charcoal cylinders that Koreans use when they can’t afford to heat their homes with gas or diesel fuel, and delivered them to families in Dongducheon Feb. 1.

 

The Soldiers were from the division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team and 210th Fires Brigade.

 

“Soldiers passed the hat around and raised over 4 million won to purchase 2,000 charcoal briquettes and 60 bags of rice,” said Maj. Scott Engrav, 1st BCT’s civil affairs officer.

 

It typically takes about two briquettes to heat a home for a day.

So the families will have enough charcoal to heat their homes for the rest of this winter and into next year, he said.

 

This wasn’t the first time Soldiers have helped distribute charcoal to local residents, said Engrave.

 

But this is the first year Soldiers have raised the money to pay for the charcoal briquettes, he said.

 

“Literally thousands of Soldiers have pitched in to help the community,” said Engrav.

 

“The largest bill I saw in the collection was a $20 bill,” he said.

About 30 U.S. Soldiers and KATUSAs – Korean Augmentation to the U.S. Army – along with 20 volunteers from the Dongducheon Volunteer Center – delivered to each of 10 households 200 briquettes and a 45-pound bag of rice.

 

The families were in the city’s Tokeri section.

 

In addition, another 50 households received a bag of rice.

 

“It was great to meet people in the surrounding community and have the opportunity to help out our Korean neighbors in a time of need,” said Pvt. Austin Rodes.

 

Rodes is an infantryman assigned to Company A, 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment.

 

The division has kept up a friendship with the citizens of Dongducheon for more than 60 years.

 

The recent help with charcoal and rice was just the latest act of goodwill in that longstanding relationship.

 

“Even though 2ID Soldiers serve their country in South Korea, they also serve the Dongducheon community,” said Lee Pok-hee, director of the Dongducheon Volunteer Center.

 

“They are our neighbors,” Lee said of the Soldiers, “and Dongducheon really appreciates their support.”

 

The division’s Soldiers gave the recent aid with fuel and rice as part of their units’ participation in the Good Neighbor Program, established in 2003 by U.S. Forces Korea.

 

The program directs that U.S. military units Korea-wide maintain robust efforts to foster good relations with the South Korean public.

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Taken on February 1, 2012