Announcement

Webinar Recording Now Available! 70th Commemoration of the Korean War Webinar Series – Part 1: Honoring Those Who Served

70th Commemoration of the Korean War Webinar Series –

Webinar Part 1: Honoring Those Who Served: 70 Years of the Irreplaceable ROK-U.S. Alliance

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Interview and Q&A with Korean War Veterans and their family members.

Speakers:


Topics:

  • Look back on those who served and sacrificed during the war; include the perspective of families through the decades
  • Discuss why they think their service was worth fighting the war
  • Look now at recognizing and honoring service members and their families

Recording:

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You’re invited! KDVA’s 2-Part Webinar Series, “70th Commemoration of the Korean War”

The Korea Defense Veterans Association invites you to attend our 2-Part Webinar Series, 

70th Commemoration of the Korean War

Livestream via Zoom 

Feel free to join 15 minutes prior to each webinars’ start time to chat with other KDVA members and attendees via Zoom messenger chat. 

The webinars are free, but you must register in-advance.


Webinar Part 1: Honoring Those Who Served:

70 Years of the Irreplaceable ROK-U.S. Alliance

Thursday, June 25, 2020

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. (U.S. EDT)
9:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. (KST) 

Interview and Q&A with Korean War Veterans and their family members.

Speakers:

Will be announced soon.

Topics:

Look back on those who served and sacrificed during the war; include perspective of families through the decades

Discuss why they think their service was worth fighting the war

Look now at recognizing and honoring service members and their families

REGISTER

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eVDAazjuTGaev515xhpCvA

 


Webinar Part 2: Fulfilling Our Veterans’ Legacy:

Enduring Nature of “Alliance for the Ages” 

Friday, June 26, 2020

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. (U.S. EDT)
9:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. (KST)

Discussion and Q&A with prominent Korea experts and senior military leaders of KDVA.

Speakers:

Will be announced soon.

Topics:

Korean War’s place in shaping ROK-U.S. relations

The need for a strong Alliance — what we are doing to ensure Korean War veterans’ service and sacrifice live on today and into the future

Highlight the “Wall of Remembrance” as an enduring example of the “Alliance for the Ages”

REGISTER

 https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_BJk2KiFLTj2cUrZLyog6mw

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KDVA’s ROK Memorial Day Message

On this 6th day of June, the people of the Republic of Korea remember their Service Members who died during the Korean War and other conflicts. KDVA would like to ask you to join the Korean people in reflecting on and remembering all that they did for this important and great country.

KDVA honors their brave and heroic sacrifices by supporting the ROK-U.S. Alliance and the people who built the Alliance and continue to serve it.  They include the 28,500 U.S. Service Members serving in South Korea today and the millions of Korean and American troops who have served together in “The Land of the Morning Calm” since the start of the Korean War on June 25, 1950 and around the world in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

KDVA truly believes in working “Together for the ROK-U.S. Alliance.”

 

Sincerely,

General (Ret.) Walter Sharp

President and Chairman, KDVA

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Webinar Recording Now Available! CFC Leadership During Crisis

ROK-U.S. Leadership During Crisis Webinar Series, “CFC Leadership During Crisis”

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Korea Defense Veterans Association’s first webinar on “ROK-U.S. Leadership During Crisis”

This webinar is a series and for the first session, the topic is “Combined Forces Command Leadership During Crisis” with the former Commander of CFC, General Walter Sharp, and former Deputy Commander, General Jung, Seung Jo.

Our intent is to discuss their shared experiences with combined ROK and U.S. military leadership during crisis.  Their thoughts should provide foundational insight that can be useful for other topics like:  instability in North Korea, exchange of fires along the DMZ, and North Korean strategic provocations to include nuclear tests and missile launches.

This webinar does not intend to get into the decision-making space of the current leaders of CFC … we only want to help people better understand how CFC works during crisis.

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KDVA’s U.S. Memorial Day Message

Monday, May 25, 2020 is U.S. Memorial Day during which Americans remember all those who have fallen in defense of the nation.

KDVA remembers and honors over 36,000 U.S. Service Members who gave their last full measure of devotion during the Korean War.

As we remember all that our veterans have done for the ROK-U.S. Alliance, I would like to suggest that you set aside some time this holiday weekend visiting websites (kdva.vet), viewing documentaries (kdva.vet/i-know-a-korean-war-veteran-campaign/), visiting veterans memorials (www.abmc.gov/about-us/history/korean-war-memorial) and cemeteries (following your local coronavirus guidelines), and/or starting a conversation in their honor.

Thank you very much, and please stay healthy and safe.

General (Ret.) Walter Sharp

President and Chairman, KDVA

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KDVA’s Korea Chapter Supports Eighth Army’s COVID-19 Response

KDVA Korea Chapter President, ROK Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Lee, Seo Young, and ROK Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Jung visited Eighth Army at Camp Humphreys on April 20, 2020 to deliver food and beverages to support 8A’s COVID-19 response.  Eighth Army Deputy Commander, BG Hur; G-7, COL Lynch; Deputy G-7, LTC Thayer, and other 8A Soldiers met with the KDVA Team to receive hundreds of boxes of apples and oranges, ramyon and choco pies, and orange juice and sodas.

They appreciated KDVA’s support and passed 8A CG, LTG Bills’ appreciation for KDVA’s support of 8A’s operations of the USFK quarantine area in Humphreys.

KDVA appreciates any opportunity to support the great men and women of Eighth Army!

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Happy U.S. Armed Forces Day!

On U.S. Armed Forces Day on Saturday, 16 May 2020, the KDVA Board of Directors join me in extending great appreciation to every member of America’s front line and multi-domain defense team who protect, serve, and preserve the American way of life at home and around the world.

The Korea Defense Veterans Association is proud to advocate for and support the men and women who fought for and continue to defend the irreplaceable ROK-U.S. Alliance. KDVA sincerely thanks our troops for their service to the ROK-U.S. Alliance and thanks our veterans who helped build our strong armed forces. Especially during this year’s 70th commemoration of the start of the Korean War on June 25, 1950, the people of South Korea are thankful and have supported your vital mission to help defend them and maintain stability on the Korean Peninsula.

It is your excellence and sacrifices that will continue to keep the ROK-U.S. Alliance a true “Alliance for the Ages.”

General (Ret.) Walter Sharp

President and Chairman, KDVA

Background:

President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish a single holiday for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country.

On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days.

The single day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense.

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Expanded Regular Membership Criteria!

KDVA has expanded its regular membership to include “Retired ROK military personnel who served in MND, JCS, and/or Service HQs for at least three continuous months.”

Membership is free, to learn more and to apply, visit our membership page.

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Word from KDVA — Coronavirus: Be Armed with Reliable Information

Dear KDVA Members,

With the 11 March 2020 announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) that the coronavirus COVID-19 is a global pandemic, I thought I would share with you some thoughts about COVID-19’s impact on KDVA.

KDVA has been following official guidelines from our respective ROK and U.S. governments about health and safety measures. In both Seoul and the Washington, DC where the current majority of KDVA’s involvement in area activities have been, we have seen a reduction in events by many organizations. Some activities have been postponed, a few others have been cancelled, and others have moved to virtual forums.

We echo what GEN Abrams, Commander of UNC/CFC/USFK, said on 11 March pointing to the “positive” development in which the number of fresh infections in South Korea has been on a decrease over the past several days, but he still reiterated a cautious approach. GEN Abrams stated, “We are going to be very deliberate and act out of an abundance of caution … We are not going to be premature, and that requires sacrifice and burden by everyone, but in the interest of the health of the force, we are gonna be very cautious … We always have our mission to perform here. That mission has not gone away just because we have COVID-19. Our mission here is to be ready to fight tonight in the defense of the Republic of Korea.” He noted that everyone is “living this lifestyle change” and asked his people to fully comply with related guidelines and exert patience. He also praised the South Korean health authorities’ handling of the issue and vowed continued close cooperation. “We have an amazing partnership with the KCDC. They’ve been incredibly transparent, cooperative, and collaborative,” GEN Abrams said.

I would encourage our members to follow this lead in getting reliable information from official sources like the CDC and KCDC, and to act not out of fear, but armed with sound knowledge that informs your actions to mitigate and/or prevent the further spread of this disease. For example, this chart from the CDC provides the difference between cold or allergies, the flu, and the coronavirus.

We will keep you updated on KDVA activities as we continue to support the ROK-U.S. Alliance – normal KDVA activities on all our social media platforms will continue.

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Crash Landing into Freedom: The Stories of Former North Korean Soldiers

 

On Wednesday, March 4th the Korea Defense Veterans Association took part in the “Crash Landing into Freedom: The Stories of Former North Korean Soldiers” panel discussion. Hudson Institute hosted this panel discussion with two former North Korean soldiers as they discussed their escapes from the hermit kingdom. 

OH Cheong Seong defected from North Korea on November 13, 2017 via the DMZ by driving a military truck right up to the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) and running on foot towards the South Korean side, while getting shot at by his fellow North Korean soldiers. Surveillance footage of Oh’s daring escape for freedom, and news of his injuries and the state of his health, caught the attention of the world. Though gravely wounded with five bullets in his body, Oh survived the ordeal and later made a full recovery.

LEE Unggil, a former solider in North Korea’s 11th Corps Special Forces who escaped while completing university studies, will explain the plight of North Korean soldiers and the motivations for those seeking freedom.

Panelists gave insight into what life is like inside the country and describe why so many North Koreans, if given the choice, would choose freedom.

Panelists:

  • Dr. Patrick M. Cronin, Asia-Pacific Security Chair, Hudson Institute
  • Colonel Steve Lee, U.S. Army (Ret.), Senior Vice President of Operations, Korea Defense Veterans Association
  • OH Cheong Seong, Former Driver in the North Korean Panmunjom Military Police Unit of the Operations Bureau
  • LEE Unggil, Former Member of the North Korean People’s Army 11th Corps Special Forces and Member of the North Korean People’s Liberation Front

To hear LEE Unggil’s and OH Cheong Seong’s story and the panel discussion, watch the video below or click here.

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