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South Korean soldiers sway to the live music at a U.S./KATUSA friendship week concert at the Schoonover Bowl on Camp Casey Thursday night. The concert served to kick-off a Friendship Week that begins Monday in the camps north of Seoul.
South Korean soldiers sway to the live music at a U.S./KATUSA friendship week concert at the Schoonover Bowl on Camp Casey Thursday night. The concert served to kick-off a Friendship Week that begins Monday in the camps north of Seoul. (Erik Slavin / S&S)

SEOUL — The U.S. and South Korean soldiers who work together daily spent the last week learning more about each other.

The annual KATUSA-U.S. Soldier Friendship Week was held in the Daegu and Seoul military communities. Similar events are planned this week at Camp Humphreys and at the U.S. Army bases north of Seoul.

In Seoul, the week seemed to start slow with groups of U.S. soldiers congregating with fellow U.S. soldiers while the South Korean Augmentees to the U.S. Army mostly talked among themselves.

Then momentum gained.

“Yes, we do stand in different groups, but when we play something we’re playing together,” said Sgt. Sohn Min-kyoon.

Sporting events during the week included flag football, soccer, tug of war and “ssireum,” a traditional Korea form of wrestling.

Each team was required to field a minimum number of KATUSAs, U.S. male and U.S. female soldiers.

Sohn said the event also helped U.S. soldiers learn more about Korean culture by sampling Korean foods, trying on traditional clothing and taking tours at various cultural landmarks throughout the area.

Participants also watched several forms of entertainment including a talent show, Korean singers and a break dancing show.

“This is a good thing,” said Pvt. Steve Foster, a mechanic with 142nd Military Police Company. “We all work with KATUSAs. Now we get to do something fun with them. We get to try sports like Korean wrestling and they get to play football.”

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