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Kunsan City orphanage: Wolf Pack does it for the children

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea - Lt. Col. Jeffrey Hunt, 8th Security Forces Squadron commander, makes a new friend May 20 before the tee ball game. (Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stephen Collier)

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea - Lt. Col. Jeffrey Hunt, 8th Security Forces Squadron commander, makes a new friend May 20 before the tee ball game. (Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stephen Collier)

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea - Wolf Pack members who contributed to the refurbishment of the orphanage?s playground equipment pose after reinstalling it for the children. (Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stephen Collier)

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea - Wolf Pack members who contributed to the refurbishment of the orphanage?s playground equipment pose after reinstalling it for the children. (Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stephen Collier)

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea - Capt. Carrie Zeune, 8th Fighter Wing safety office, goes in for the tickle while swinging with a child from the orphanage. More than 20 Wolf Pack members donated their time for the children. (Photo by Seung Wan)

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea - Capt. Carrie Zeune, 8th Fighter Wing safety office, goes in for the tickle while swinging with a child from the orphanage. More than 20 Wolf Pack members donated their time for the children. (Photo by Seung Wan)

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- More than 20 Wolf Pack members cleared their schedules and opened their hearts May 20 as they traveled to the Ilmagwon children’s orphanage located in Kunsan City.

The orphanage, located minutes from the base, received a special treat from members of the 8th Logistics Readiness Squadron. Since 2005, squadron members donated their time and expertise to help refurbish and repair playground equipment left in disarray from last year’s monsoon season and harsh winter storms. After a few set backs and rescheduled delivery dates, the playground equipment was finally re-installed, according to Chap. (Maj.) Boyd Short Jr., 8th Fighter Wing chaplain.

“This is a great opportunity (for the Wolf Pack) to give of themselves,” said the chaplain. “It really is making a difference in these children’s lives who really need adult supervision, attention and affirmation. This trip gives them (Airmen) a look at Korea they would never see.”

But installing the playground equipment wasn’t the only item on the agenda to bring smiles to these children. A game of tee ball was introduced shortly after and each Wolf Pack member was paired with a child. After each team was given a colored ribbon signifying their respective team, it was on to the ball park. Chap. Short said it can be nice for those Wolf Pack members with families back home to be able to reconnect with children while they serve their one-year unaccompanied tour.

“Having fun with the kids is what this is all about,” he said. “A lot of us leave our families and are away from those we love. You get reconnected with kids and it makes a difference for the children. These trips are also beneficial because they (the children) can learn some English from the Airmen.”

After tee ball, Wolf Pack members and children alike were escorted to the orphanage’s auditorium. There, everyone sang and danced to the tunes of a guitar and the tastes of juice boxes and tortilla chips. Mr. David Kim, director of the orphanage, said it’s an important thing for the children to have the support from Kunsan.

“The main important reason is the love they give to our children … I appreciate this very much,” he said. “There are many reasons why it is good for Americans to come here but, in particular, the relationship is very good because the children need to understand that Americans are good for Koreans. Our history is rich so from the beginning of their (children’s) lives, they can build relationships with Americans that is very important. I can only say ... thank you.”

The Wolf Pack chapel has regularly-scheduled visits to the orphanage every Wednesday.

To date this calendar year, the chapel has completed three service projects for the children of the orphanage, including the purchase of Nike tennis shoes for the children as well as donating Christmas gifts for the holiday season.