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YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Six members of the military community recently were named winners of the USO Virtues Program Volunteers Essay Contest.

Awards were given to both U.S. troops and to South Korean soldiers who are tasked to work with the U.S. Army.

The winners included:

U.S. category — Spc. Austin King, first place; Senior Airman Andrew Kampa, second place; and Pfc. Michael Procino, third place.KATUSA Category — Cpl. Ahn Hong-pyo, first place; Cpl. Hong Min-chul, second place; and Cpl. Pyun Shin-young, third place.King won a round-trip airline ticket to the United States and Ahn won a round-trip ticket to Jeju Island with a two-night hotel stay. Kampa and Hong each received $200 and Procino and Pyun won $100 each.

Their essays were about their volunteer experience with the USO program.

More than 1,100 military and civilian volunteers have taught English to more than 21,000 South Korean children since the program was created in 2003.

According to literature from the USO, the program “helps young students learn English through teaching virtues that transcend cultures, race and religion - virtues like responsibility, friendliness and helpfulness.”

Volunteers must be trained on the program’s specially designed lesson plans, according to the USO.

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