Support our mission
John Batchelor, left, deputy commander of the Army’s Pusan Storage Facility in South Korea, on Friday presents a mock-up of the check donated to help Jang Bong-sok, 5, center, get hearing-aid implant surgery. Center left is Sister Catarina. At right is Anthony Gray, who also helped raise money.

John Batchelor, left, deputy commander of the Army’s Pusan Storage Facility in South Korea, on Friday presents a mock-up of the check donated to help Jang Bong-sok, 5, center, get hearing-aid implant surgery. Center left is Sister Catarina. At right is Anthony Gray, who also helped raise money. (U.S. Army photo)

PYONGTAEK, South Korea — Staffers at the Army’s Pusan Storage Facility in South Korea hosted a cookout lunch Friday for those who took part in fund raising to help a 5-year-old Korean boy get surgery to correct his hearing.

Guests included the boy himself, Jang Bong-sok, and Ju Yang-suk, also known as Sister Catarina, one of three lay Catholics who runs Isaac’s House, a home in Pusan for abused and abandoned children.

Friday’s hot dogs, hamburgers, baked beans and chicken wings were prepared outdoors but served inside because of rain, said PSF deputy commander John Batchelor.

Last month, South Korean and American employees at PSF raised $1,223, mainly through a raffle, to help Bong-sok get a high-tech, permanent hearing aid called a cochlear implant.

In a brief ceremony after the luncheon, Batchelor handed Sister Catarina a check for 1,232,000 won, the amount PSF raised toward the surgery.

All 120 of PSF’s employees, 90 percent of whom are South Korean nationals, were on hand, as were several other people who had helped support the raffle, Batchelor said.

Last fall, PSF members raised $1,100 toward a fund that enabled Bong-sok to undergo a successful Jan. 17 cochlear implant in his right ear at Pusan’s Dong Hwa University Hospital. Members of Pusan’s Camp Hialeah community also raised funds last year, bringing to $5,500 the total the U.S. military donated toward the $30,000 operation.

But doctors have said Bong-sok should have an implant in his left ear, too, so the fund-raising effort has continued.

Meanwhile, said Batchelor, PSF intends to “sponsor” Isaac’s House on a regular basis, financially or otherwise, possibly including volunteer visits by employees who would make weekend repairs to the home or take the children on outings.

“We took the little boy around so all the employees could say hello to him,” said Batchelor of Friday’s one-hour event.

“I’ll put it to you this way,” he said, “when I got up there and started talking and I mentioned his name … everyone started applauding. You could just feel the emotion in the air. All the employees’ hearts were really opened up.”


Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up