Korean’s gratitude to the U.S. Forces at Yongsan and USAEDFE in Seoul City
USFK veterans association to be launched in Washington
By Jun Ji-hye
Former and incumbent U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) service members will launch a new association in Washington later this week, a move expected to contribute to strengthening the Korea-U.S. alliance.
The Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs said Tuesday the Korea Defense Veterans Association (KDVA) will bring 3.5 million members together including former USFK commanders and veterans as well as Koreans who served in the U.S. military under the Korean Augmentation to the United State Army (KATUSA) program.
USFK soldiers on active duty can also join the association, the ministry added.
The foundation ceremony will be held at the official residence of the Korean ambassador to the U.S. on Wednesday (local time) with 150 U.S. politicians and military officials in attendance.
Former USFK commander Walter Sharp will serve as the first president of the association with former ROK Army Chief of Staff Kwon Oh-sung and former Eighth U.S. Army Commander Bernard S. Champoux assuming vice president roles.
“The KDVA will contribute to promoting friendship of 3.5 million members who have contributed to maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula since the 1950-53 Korean War,” the ministry said in a release. “The association will play a pivotal role in enhancing the ROK-U.S. alliance.”
Discussions to set up the association first began in April 2014, the ministry said, noting that since then, Korean ambassadors to the U.S., former USFK commanders, former Eighth U.S. Army commanders and former Seventh Air Force commanders have joined hands to push for it.
On April 26, the Korea-U.S. Alliance Foundation (KUSAF) was founded in Seoul with the aim of financially supporting the KDVA. Former Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan assumed the chair of the foundation, while former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Jung Seung-jo was appointed to vice chairman.