At the time I knew little about Pearl Buck and her work with mixed race children and the orphanages who cared for them. Later I learned more about her and the Pearl Buck Foundation. And so I think back about those few minutes that I spent with her and am constantly amazed at the impact that she had on me, in just those few moments and for the rest of my life.
One Christmas evening I met Shin in a tea house in Myeong-dong, Seoul. He told me he was accepted as a trumpeter of a jazz band that would perform music and dance entertainment for the U.S. Military personnel in various camps at Yongsan Garrison, Camp Casey, Camp Red Cloud, K-6, Osan Air Base, etc.
Once at Samgakji we would be underneath the elevated traffic circle. There were seemingly hundreds of street vendors selling everything from soups and grilled meats, to plastic shoes and clothing, to bicycle parts…..It was dark and chaotic under the traffic circle, and quite exciting for a teenager…
From serving at Yongsan and volunteering with People to People International (PTPI) and numerous other non-profit organizations, to promoting Korean businesses and cultural events, Mr. Nowell has made a significant and lasting impact on his adopted country.
“For two hours, the men could forget they were soldiers at war. After the show, they returned to the fighting in the hills. Some in that audience never made it back.”
USO, to provide morale and recreation services to U.S. uniformed military personnel