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Air Force Lt. Gen. Stephen Wood honored a room full of enlisted troops Friday by saluting them.

“I only have three stars,” the deputy commander for U.S. Forces Korea said. “You have six.”

A group of U.S., South Korean, Thai and Filipino troops were given the honorary rank of “six stars” during two days of VIP treatment for the United Service Organization’s annual Six Star Salute on Thursday and Friday.

The troops were treated to cultural tours, fine dining and live entertainment.

As one event planner said, “There would be no five-star general without noncommissioned soldiers.”

The troops were handpicked by their commands.

Highlights of the event included a gala banquet at the Seoul Hyatt Hotel’s Grand Ballroom, where participants were treated to a performance by Korean pop star Insooni, and a tour of the presidential “Blue House.”

During the Blue House tour, participants were treated to a personal greeting by Korean president Roh Moo-hyun, who expressed his regrets at not having time to shake each hand before speeding off to work.

“All in all, it was a good adventure and I liked being able to mingle with the other services,” said Marine Cpl. Bryce Cowan, with Marine Forces Korea.


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