From My Service in Korea

CSM(Ret.) Diahann J. White – From My Service in Korea, I Learned …

Command Sgt. Maj. (Ret.) Diahann J. White

“Unveiling the Lessons of Diversity and Camaraderie”

“From My Service in Korea, I Learned … Unveiling the Lessons of Diversity and Camaraderie”
Throughout my military journey, I devoted a total of three and a half years to two tours in Korea, each marking significant milestones in the arc of my service. These periods were woven with a tapestry of life events, ranging from weddings, funerals, celebrations of birth, promotions, to educational achievements. My time in Korea not only granted me invaluable insights into cultural understanding but also opened my eyes to a broader perspective on life beyond the borders of the United States.
During my initial assignment at Camp Humphreys, serving at the 43rd MASH, I embarked on my journey as a Private First Class, bearing witness to the historic hospital portrayed on television. This environment nurtured genuine camaraderie, with my leadership actively encouraging exploration of the country through visits to the zoo, orphanage, and a Soldier’s excursion to Cheju Island. Despite language barriers, working alongside KATUSAs daily emphasized the significance of unity.
Twenty-six years later, on my final tour as the Hospital CSM of the 121CSH and Brian Allgood Community Hospital, I embraced multifaceted roles as a Soldier’s spouse, a mother, and a leader. In this capacity, I took on the responsibility of fostering morale and camaraderie, ensuring a fulfilling experience for both my family and the Soldiers and Civilians under my command.
A standout initiative in this pursuit was the creation of the “triple threat” program, challenging individuals to cultivate Personal, Professional, and Partnership with the “Pen” for the minimum 525,600 minutes they were assigned. Collaborating with my ROK peers, we bridged the gap among the KATUSAS and Soldiers. Concurrently, I had the privilege of managing the inaugural security cooperation program for USFK, forging an enduring partnership with our ROK counterparts across different branches. Immersed in the local culture, my family seamlessly embraced the challenges I presented at work, enriching our shared experiences. Notably, I led eight HS Girl Scouts to the 16th Girl Scouts International Camp in South Korea, a remarkable undertaking that further deepened our cultural immersion.
The lasting friendships and acculturation cultivated during these experiences stand as indelible reminders of the profound truth that genuine understanding of a culture is attained through immersive engagement.
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COL Chris Martinez – From My Service in Korea, I Learned …

COL Chris Martinez

“The Gift of Generational Freedom”

I had the great fortune to serve in the Republic of Korea (ROK) twice during my military career. In 1998, I was assigned to the 102nd Military Intelligence (MI) Battalion (BN) at Camp Essayons in Uijeongbu. Although the unit and the installation no longer exist, the organization took great pride serving in the Alliance, which at the time, was the most forward deployed MI BN in the U.S. Army.

Fifteen years later, I returned to the ROK and was afforded the opportunity to serve in Seoul. Unlike the previous assignment, I was married with children. I took advantage of the experience, sharing the value of service to one’s nation and our family’s legacy on the peninsula with my spouse and children. I recall researching and revealing my grandfather’s service during the Korean War to my son Preston who was three years old at the time. I disclosed heroic stories about my grandfather – a senior noncommissioned officer and infantryman who experienced some of the fiercest fighting in the Iron Triangle before the Armistice was signed on July 27, 1953.

With Preston so young, I thought he would benefit from visual cues to reinforce the values, stories, and lessons I tried to instill in him. As a result, I frequently took him to visit the War Memorial of Korea in Seoul. Although called a Memorial, it is a remarkable museum with a tremendous exhibition of historical relics and records related to many wars fought in Korea and abroad. It is absolutely grand. Although it is possible to walk all the indoor and outdoor exhibits in a day, it’s nearly impossible to stop at every display and fully appreciate its significance in one visit. Hence, Preston and I visited the Memorial about once a month, each time discovering new treasures.

During our visits, I gained an appreciation what I call “The Gift of Generational Freedom.” Words cannot express how special it was to experience the freedom of walking through the Memorial with Preston, holding his hand, and sharing with him the experiences of my grandfather on the same hollowed grounds he bravely fought on 60 years earlier. On one occasion, Preston and I had the opportunity to visit the Memorial with my father and brother, an Army Lieutenant Colonel retired and National Guard Lieutenant Colonel respectively. On that very special day, three generations experienced the “Gift of Generational Freedom,” honoring the legacy of my grandfather’s service and the powerful Alliance he contributed to that stands ready to deter aggression and defend the Republic of Korea today.

On that day, we discovered a magnificent outdoor exhibit titled The Clock Tower of Peace. It is a remarkable 15-foot bronze statue. From its base stands a tower of military rubble from the Korean War consisting of damaged tanks, artillery pieces, vehicles, and vessels. Atop of the pile are two young girls, possibly sisters torn apart by the war, each holding a clock. One girl stands strongly, holding a clock on her shoulder that displays the current time. While the other girl lays weakly on the pile, reaching for her sister with one hand while sorrowfully resting her arm on the other clock. Her clock is cracked and lies still at 4:00, June 25, 1950 – the date and time The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) invaded the ROK.

Initially, the exhibit struck us as a stark and dreadful reminder of how the Korean War separated thousands of families, most of whom have not reunited in 70 years. These families remain deprived of “The Gift of Generational Freedom” – the very gift I experienced with three generations of my family on that special day. But as we examined the exhibit more closely, we realized it was not complete. Several meters from the base of the tower, sat a third clock, identical to the two on the tower. It was in pristine condition, protected in a glass case, and resting at 4:00 with no date. On the day of reunification, the sculptor will complete the exhibit by raising the third clock to the top of the tower, replacing the broken one and synchronizing the two aloft in perpetuity. The exhibit, in its entirety, is a symbol of hope for when Korea will be made one and its families made whole – whole to experience “The Gift of Generational Freedom.”

Gifts are not free nor should we take them for granted. Service Members, like my grandfather, paid the price in blood and treasure 70 years ago so we can experience “The Gift of Generational Freedom” today. In total, 36,516 U.S Service Members gave their last full measure of devotion for freedom on the Korean peninsula. Their service mattered and we must not forget them. From my assignments in Korea, I learned the best way to honor their sacrifice is by ensuring our service  – as individuals and an Alliance – preserves and strives to afford every man, woman, and child the opportunity to experience “The Gift of Generational Freedom.”



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Mr. Rick Bogusky – From My Service in Korea, I Learned …

Rick has over four decades of military and national security experience.  He served 24 years on active duty with the US Army as both an artillery officer and foreign area officer (FAO).  As chief of the Korea Division at the Defense Intelligence Agency he led an Agency-wide task force focused on North Korea during the first nuclear crisis in the mid-1990s.  During his Headquarters-level assignments at the Pentagon as well as in Korea and Hawaii, Rick was responsible for executing regional and bi-lateral engagement plans for the military and providing regional subject matter expertise to the Army Chief of Staff and respective Headquarters leadership.

As part of a US Army War College fellowship, he spent a year at the Korea Institute of Defense Analysis in Seoul, Korea where he did research on future security challenges to the United States in Northeast Asia.  He is a graduate of West Point and received his graduate degree from Campbell University.

Following retirement from the Army in 2000, Rick spent 20 years in the private sector, initially managing a small international business with offices in the US and Vietnam before joining CENTRA Technology, Inc. in 2001.  He helped grow CENTRA from a small business of approximately 40 personnel to over 800 with a focus specifically on the defense and intelligence business lines, retiring in late 2020 as Senior Vice President. Rick and his wife, Joanna, now enjoy spending time with their grandkids.



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Colonel (Retired) Norm Spivey – Video Interview

US Army Colonel (retired) Norm Spivey served three tours in Korea including battalion command from 2012 to 2014. He currently works within the missile defense enterprise.

From my service in Korea I learned “Katchi Kapshida,” is more than just a catchphrase to describe a strong military alliance.  The phrase can also be used to describe the unity and loyalty of the Korean people.

During my three tours spread over nearly a twenty year span, I witnessed firsthand how the values of stability, hard work, loyalty, and respect play a central role in Korean society.

It is very evident how these values enabled what many call the “Miracle on the Han”. Korea’s many economic and security related successes are a true testament to the hard work, loyalty and resiliency of the people.

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COL Joseph C. Holland

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BG Daryl O. Hood

Daryl O. Hood – BG

대릴 O. 후드-준장

My experience as a platoon leader in 2nd Infantry Division (2ID) allowed me to learn from great leaders that focused on “the basics” and reinforced it consistently as part of mission preparedness. What do I mean by “the basics?” This term referred to doing things the right way when planning, preparing, executing, and recovering from a mission. “The basics” applied to: troop leading procedures; eight step training model; tactics, techniques, and procedures; standard operating procedures; problem solving; military decision making process; issuing orders; field training exercises focused on combined arms maneuver; force on force (blue versus red) engagements; command maintenance; supply accountability; organization inspection program; pre-combat checks and inspections; rehearsals; risk management; and the list goes on.

미 2사단에서 소대장으로서의 복무경험은 제가 임무 준비의 한 부분으로서 “기본”에 충실하고 그것을 지속적으로 강화시키는 훌륭한 지휘관들로부터 교훈을 얻는 계기를 만들어주었습니다.  제가 말하고자 하는 “기본”이라는 의미는, 임무를 계획하고 준비하며 개시하고 보완하는 과정들이 정석으로 이루어지는 것을 말합니다. 이 “기본”은 다음의 모든 분야에 적용됩니다: 부대지휘절차, 8단계 훈련모델, 전술, 기술 및 절차, 운영예규, 문제 해결, 군사 결심 수립 절차, 명령 부여, 제병협동부대 기동 위주의 야외기동훈련, 모의전투훈련, 교전, 지휘정비, 보급 책임의 투명화, 조직검열 프로그램, 전투 전 검사 및 검열, 예행연습, 위기관리 및 그외 많은 분야에 적용이 됩니다.

When reflecting on “the basics,” the one key factor that held true for mission success then, as well as for today, is leadership. During 1994-1995, BG Ellis and BG Flowers were two senior leaders that set the example. Both of them later retired at the 4-star and 3-star level respectively. Even then, they still talked about “the basics” as successful leaders. Leadership is what separates great units from good ones. I am grateful for the opportunity to have served with great leaders that instilled and reinforced “the basics” in all we did in South Korea. The take away for me was and remains to do the little things right, “the basics,” through engaged leadership – there’s no substitute. In 2ID, Soldiers must be ready to fight tonight. Second to None!

당시 배웠던 “기본”을 반추해볼 때, 오늘날과 마찬가지로 임무완수를 보장하는 가장 중요한 한 가지가 바로 리더십입니다. 1994년부터 1995년 동안 엘리스 준장과 플라워 준장이 모범을 보인 두 명의 선임 지휘관이라 할 수 있겠습니다. 그 두 분께서는 각각 대장과 중장으로 예편하셨습니다. 심지어 그때에도 그분들은 성공적인 지휘관으로서의 “기본”에 대해 말씀하셨습니다. 리더십은 한 부대를 최고의 수준으로 격상시키는 결정적인 요소입니다. 저는, 우리가 대한민국에서 했던 모든일들에 있어 “기본”을 주입시키고 강화했던 훌륭한 지휘관들과 근무할 수 있었던 기회를 얻은 것에 대해 감사하게 생각합니다. 제가 얻은 교훈, 그리고 앞으로 제게 남겨진 일은 작은것들부터 올바르게 하는 “기본”을 연계된 리더십을 통해 행하는 것입니다. 이를 대신할 사람은 없습니다. 미 2사단에서 장병들은 모두 언제든지 나가 싸울 준비가 되어있어야 합니다.

Second to None(미 2사단 모토)!

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Major General Michel M. Russell, Sr.

Major General Michel M. Russell, Sr.

From my service in Korea, I learned that if you have never visited or lived in the Republic of Korea (ROK), it may be difficult to understand or appreciate what the ROK-U.S. ironclad alliance means. I served there for three years as the United States Forces Korea J4 (Director of Logistics), the deputy Combined Forces Command C4, the deputy United Nations Command U4, and the Commanding General of the 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, from 2016 to 2019.

한국에서의 복무경험에서 제가 배운 것은, 대한민국을 방문하거나 한국에서 거주해본 직접적인 경험이 없는 사람이라면 한미간의 굳건한 동맹이 갖는 의미와 중요성을 이해하는 데 어려움이 있을 거란 사실입니다. 저는 한국에서 2016년부터 2019년까지 3년간 주한미군사 군수참모부장 겸 한미연합사 군수참모부차장 겸 유엔사 군수참모차장 그리고 제19원정지원사령관으로 역임했습니다.

My wakening to what ironclad means happened while traveling, in uniform, on an extremely fast train from Seoul to Daegu.  A party of five elderly Korean women sat in front of me, and shortly afterwards, offered me some of their food. I politely declined but they insisted I accept their gift. Through my interpreter, one woman explained that she wanted to give me the food gift as repayment for a U.S. Soldier’s lifesaving gesture to her when she was a young girl during the Korean War. This Soldier found her starving on the street, and selflessly gave her half of the apples he was carrying that day.

한미동맹이 갖는 굳건함과 그 의미를 여실히 느꼈던 최초의 경험은 군복을 입은 채 서울에서 대구로 향하는 고속열차 안에서 였습니다. 제 앞좌석에 나이가 지긋한 여사님들 5명이 앉으셨고, 얼마 지나지 않아 그들은 저에게 음식을 나눠주려 하셨습니다. 저는 정중히 거절했지만 계속 음식을 받을 것을 권유하셨는데, 그 중 한 분께서 제 통역사를 통해 이유를 설명해 주셨습니다. 본인이 어린 소녀였던 6.25전쟁 당시에 한 미군이 길에서 굶고 있던 자신을 지나치지 않고, 자기가 갖고있던 사과들의 절반을 나눠주었다고 했습니다. 한 미군의 이타적인 행동으로 그녀가 목숨을 부지할 수 있었고, 이에 대한 은혜를 갚고 싶었다고 말했습니다.

This encounter gave me a deep understanding of what the alliance means at its core and to those that experienced the Korean War.  It is an alliance of people, shared values, and trust.  In the end, with greater clarity, I humbly accepted their gift.  Therefore, I embraced the ROK-U.S. ironclad alliance then and now.

이 만남을 통해 한미동맹이 그 본질에서, 특히 6.25전쟁을 경험한 이들에게 어떤 의미를 갖는지에 대해 깊은 이해를 체감할 수 있었습니다. 한미동맹은 양국의 국민들, 공동의 가치, 그리고 신뢰를 아우르는 동맹입니다. 결국 전 사연을 듣고 겸손히 음식을 받아먹었습니다. 이를 계기로 전 한미 간의 굳건한 동맹을 진심으로 받아들였습니다.

Michel M. Russell, Sr.

Major General, U.S. Army

Incoming Commanding General

1st Theater Sustainment Command

미 육군 소장

제1 전구지속지원사령부 신임사령관

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U.S. Army Colonel (Ret.) Norm Spivey

US Army Colonel (retired) Norm Spivey served three tours in Korea including battalion command from 2012 to 2014. He currently works within the missile defense enterprise.

Norm Spivey 미 육군 대령(예)은 한국에서 세 차례 복무한 경험이 있으며, 이 중 2012년부터 2014년까지 대대장 직책을 맡기도 했습니다. 현재는 미사일방어 산업에 종사하고 있습니다.

From my service in Korea I learned “Katchi Kapshida,” is more than just a catchphrase to describe a strong military alliance.  The phrase can also be used to describe the unity and loyalty of the Korean people. 

한국에서 복무하는 동안, 저는 “같이 갑시다(We go together)”라는 구호가 그저 한미간의 동맹을 상징하는 단순한 문구가 아니라는 것을 배웠습니다. 이 문구에는 한국사람들에게서 보았던 단합력과 성실성 또한 담겨 있다고 저는 생각합니다.

During my three tours spread over nearly a twenty year span, I witnessed firsthand how the values of stability, hard work, loyalty, and respect play a central role in Korean society.

약 20년 넘게 군에서 복무하는 동안 한국에 세 차례 파병되었는데, 그때마다 저는 한국사회에서 안정성(일관성), 근면성, 성실성, 상호존중을 중시하는 문화를 몸소 경험할 수 있었습니다. 

It is very evident how these values enabled what many call the “Miracle on the Han”. Korea’s many economic and security related successes are a true testament to the hard work, loyalty and resiliency of the people.

이러한 가치를 중시하는 문화가 있었기에, 대한민국이 “한강의 기적”이라고 불리우는 발전을 이룩할 수 있었던 것은 합당한 결과입니다. 대한민국이 보여준 여러 경제와 안보 분야의 성취는 단연코 한국 사람들의 근면성, 성실성, 그리고 끈기를 증명하는 위훈입니다.

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BG Kevin D. Admiral

BG Kevin D. Admiral, Armor School Commandant, served in Korea as a company commander and the Executive Officer to the Commander of United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, US Forces Korea (UNC/CFC/USFK).

케빈 D. 어드미럴 준장, 미 육군 기갑학교 학교장, 중대장 시절 대한민국에서 복무, 유엔군 사령부, 한미연합사 및 주한미군의 참모

“From my service in Korea, I learned how to fight a combined arms fight while serving in 1-72 AR at Camp Casey from 1998-2001. The training we conducted was battle-focused and we honed our skills in synchronizing direct and indirect fires at the right time and place on the battlefield.

제가1998년부터 2001년까지 캠프케이시의 1-72 기갑대대에서 복무할 동안 어떻게 제병협동 전투에서 싸워야 하는지를 배워습니다. 우리가 진행했던 훈련은 전투 중심의 훈련이었으며 전장에서 정확한 시간와 장소에 맞춰 직접 및 간접사격을 진행하는 전투기술을 연마하였습니다.

Multiple iterations of situational training exercises at Twin Bridges, Dagmar North and Monkey’s training areas showed us how to integrate tanks, infantry, engineers, Army aviation, and joint capabilities. The live fire training at Rodriguez Range was exceptional, our Soldiers understood that we had to be lethal, disciplined and trained to deter the KPA and if deterrence failed they had to be able to defeat any enemy forces attacking south. My brigade and battalion commander focused leader development sessions on ensuring maneuver leaders’ understanding of systems capabilities and employment methods that go beyond individual branch competencies.

Twin Bridges, Dagmar North and Monkey’s training areas(주한미군 훈련지역)에서의 다수의 반복적인 상황조치위주훈련은 우리가 어떻게 전차, 보병, 공병, 육군 항공전력 및 합동 역량을 통합시킬 수 있는지 보여주었습니다. Rodriguez Range(주한미군 훈련장)에서의 실사격 훈련은 아주 우수한 훈련이었습니다. 그리고 우리 부대원들은 우리가 조선인민군(북한군)에 억제력을 가질 수 있도록 치명적이며 규율을 갖추고 있고 잘 훈련되어야 한다는 것을 이해하였으며 만약 우리가 억제력을 행사하는데 실패한다면 부대원들은 대한민국을 공격하는 그 어떤 적들도 패퇴시킬 수 있어야 한다는 것을 이해하였습니다. 저의 부대 여단장과 대대장은 개별적인 군별 적합성을 넘어선 방법 사용과 작전지휘관의 역량체계 이해에 대한 간부 계발 부분에 집중하였습니다.

On my second tour in Korea from 2017-2018, I served as executive officer to the UNC/CFC/USFK Commander. This was a volatile time period with the NK leadership attempting to challenge U.S. and ROK security with bellicose statements and actions that if not managed correctly could have led to armed conflict. I learned during this period the importance of strategic communications, developing courses of action for national leaders to achieve physical, temporal, and psychological advantages over the enemy and how senior leaders must be able to manage partnerships ensuring that equities are understood and fully considered when making difficult decisions that could lead to international consequences.”

2017년부터 2018년까지 대한민국에서의 두번째 파견에서 저는 유엔사/연합사/주한미군 참모로서 복무하였습니다. 이 기간은 올바르게 대처하지 못했을 때 무력충돌로 이어질 수 있는 호전적인 언행을 가진 북한 지도자들이 한미의 안보를 위협하는 불안한 시간들이었습니다. 저는 이 기간동안 전략적 소통과, 국가의 지도자가 적으로부터 물질적, 시간적, 심리적인 이점을 취할 수 있는 방책 개발의 중요성, 그리고 고위 지도자들이 국제적인 결과로 이끌 수 있는 어려운 결정을 만들 때 공정성이 이해되고 충분히 고려되었다는 점을 보장하는 파트너십을 어떻게 이끌어나가야 하는지를 배우게 되었습니다

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COL (Ret.) Matt Segal, US Army

I served as a unit commander commanding a postal unit in the 2 ID as a 2LT/1LT in 1973/74.  This was my first trip out of North America, and I decided I would learn as much as I could about Korea while in the country.  As I look back, I learned some things that affected my entire adult life. With the Korean War being fought only 20 years before my arrival, the memories were still fresh for its citizens.  The Koreans were so resourceful.  Nothing went to waste and the things we took for granted and threw out when we felt there was no longer a use for them, they used. For example, I remember bags that the Koreans made from 8 ½ x 11 paper sheets that we threw out.

제가 소·중위였을 때, 저는 1973년부터 74년까지 주한미군 제2 보병사단 제10 군사우편부대장으로 복무했습니다. 그때 난생 처음 북미를 떠나며, 저는 한국에 대해 최대한 많은 것을 배우고 돌아오리라 다짐했습니다. 지금 돌아보니, 저는 한국에서의 경험을 통해 제 성인으로서의 삶 전체가 송두리째 바뀌었다고 생각합니다. 제가 파견된 당시 대한민국은 6.25전쟁의 화마가 휩쓸고 지나간 지 불과 20년밖에 되지 않았습니다.  전쟁의 기억이 생생했던 만큼 대한민국 국민들의 지략은 매우 뛰어났습니다. 그들은 그 어떤 것도 허투루 낭비하지 않았으며, 제가 당연하게 생각하며 쉽게 쓰고 쉽게 버렸던 것을 끝까지 알뜰하게 사용했습니다. 일례로, 저희 부대에서 버린 레터지로 봉투를 만들어 쓰는 걸 본 기억이 있습니다.

I remember the discipline of the Korean troops in every case because there was a real threat on their border that required nothing less.

또한 휴전선을 따라 실질적인 위협이 도사리고 있었던 만큼, 한국군은 그 어떤 상황에서도 확실한 기강을 유지했다고 기억합니다.

I remember what great partners they were in every situation in which we dealt with them.  I learned what true friends were.

저는 한국군과 함께 어떠한 상황에서 어떤 일을 하던 훌륭한 파트너라는 느낌을 받았으며, 진정한 친구가 무엇인지 배울 수 있었습니다.

I could go on and on, but these memories were more than that.  They formed me as an officer and as an adult. At the age of 71, looking back, I realize they made me a better person in all aspects of my life, all because I was blessed to spend those 13 months in Korea in my early years.  More importantly, I know those impacts were positive because when my wife and I returned to Korea several years ago as part of the initiative allowing those who served to revisit as guests of the Korean government, I saw the modern Korea as a dynamic society that built on those foundations I was exposed to and made me the person I am.

한국에 파견된 기간은 짧았지만 그 경험은 무엇보다도 강렬했습니다. 주한미군으로서의 경험을 통해 저는 진정한 장교, 진정한 어른으로 거듭날 수 있었습니다. 71살이 된 지금 그때를 돌아보면, 젊은 시절 13개월간 한국에서 복무한 덕에 저는 제 삶의 전반에 있어 더욱 성숙한 인물로 성장할 수 있었다고 생각합니다. 저는 무엇보다도 그 경험이 긍정적이었다고 생각합니다. 몇 년 전 한국정부의 초청으로 제가 아내와 함께 한국을 다시 방문했을 때, 지금의 대한민국이 얼마나 역동적인 국가로 발전했는지 목도할 수 있었기 때문입니다. 이러한 성장의 발판에는 지금의 저를 있게 해준, 제가 경험한 바로 그때의 대한민국이 있었음을 느낄 수 있었습니다.

Matt Segal

Colonel, US Army (Retired)

Cary, NC

美육군 예비역 대령

노스캐롤라이나 州, 캐리 市

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