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Staff Sgt. Alexsandra Fajardo, right, of Puerto Rico talks Wednesday with students from Seoul's Moon Jeong Elementary School at the USO at Camp Kim, South Korea. The students visited Camp Kim to meet U.S. soldiers and practice English. The field trip was part of USFK's Good Neighbor Program.
Staff Sgt. Alexsandra Fajardo, right, of Puerto Rico talks Wednesday with students from Seoul's Moon Jeong Elementary School at the USO at Camp Kim, South Korea. The students visited Camp Kim to meet U.S. soldiers and practice English. The field trip was part of USFK's Good Neighbor Program. (Teri Weaver / S&S)
Staff Sgt. Alexsandra Fajardo, right, of Puerto Rico talks Wednesday with students from Seoul's Moon Jeong Elementary School at the USO at Camp Kim, South Korea. The students visited Camp Kim to meet U.S. soldiers and practice English. The field trip was part of USFK's Good Neighbor Program.
Staff Sgt. Alexsandra Fajardo, right, of Puerto Rico talks Wednesday with students from Seoul's Moon Jeong Elementary School at the USO at Camp Kim, South Korea. The students visited Camp Kim to meet U.S. soldiers and practice English. The field trip was part of USFK's Good Neighbor Program. (Teri Weaver / S&S)
Sgt. Richard Howard, right, talks with students from Seoul’s Moon Jeong Elementary School about his uniform and the various jobs U.S. soldiers have. Howard, 28, from Richfield, Minn., works at 8th Army Headquarters at Yongsan Garrison, South Korea.
Sgt. Richard Howard, right, talks with students from Seoul’s Moon Jeong Elementary School about his uniform and the various jobs U.S. soldiers have. Howard, 28, from Richfield, Minn., works at 8th Army Headquarters at Yongsan Garrison, South Korea. (Teri Weaver / S&S)
Students from Seoul's Moon Jeong Elementary School order their lunches from an American menu at the USO at Camp Kim, South Korea.
Students from Seoul's Moon Jeong Elementary School order their lunches from an American menu at the USO at Camp Kim, South Korea. (Teri Weaver / S&S)
This student from Seoul's Moon Jeong Elementary School seems to be enjoying the visit to the USO at Camp Kim.
This student from Seoul's Moon Jeong Elementary School seems to be enjoying the visit to the USO at Camp Kim. (Teri Weaver / S&S)

CAMP KIM, South Korea — About two dozen 10-year-olds looked impressed, and a bit relieved, Wednesday to find the U.S. soldier before them could speak Korean.

The schoolchildren had come to the United Service Organizations to practice their English and have lunch with American soldiers. They shouted out answers as Sgt. Richard Howard pointed to various parts of his uniform: Boots! Pants! Shirt!

And, of course, they had no problem finding the English word to explain how they felt a few minutes before 1 p.m.: “Hungry!”

But before the 21 children got to order lunch — from English menus with American treats such as cheeseburgers, hot dogs and French fries — they listened to Howard talk about the various jobs soldiers have in Seoul.

The children “don’t have any interaction with the military,” said Moon Chan Bae, their teacher at Seoul’s Moon Jeong Elementary School. “It’s a good opportunity to use English. And I want to give them a special memory.”

Wednesday’s visit, part of U.S. Forces Korea’s Good Neighbor Program, was the third by South Korean students since summer, said Rita Ehrman, the USO’s program manager. “The word really spread,” she said. “These are kids from a second school.”

Next week, the USO is to host several South Korean teachers as they visit Yongsan Garrison’s Seoul American Elementary School. And the USO got a call Wednesday from another Seoul school hoping to send its children for a visit.

“We’re working to do something with a Korean high school, too,” said Heeyun Lee of the USO’s community relations office.

The soldiers who came to the USO on Wednesday were volunteers who responded to a mass e-mail, Ehrman said.

Staff Sgt. Alexsandra Fajardo, who works in the mental health department at 121st General Hospital, sat with three South Korean girls in the USO’s canteen and tried to make conversation over lunch.

The girls’ eyes lit up when they heard a question they understood. They conferred with each other in a huddle. Then they turned to Fajardo with their answer.

“Ten,” they said, holding up all fingers, to show their ages.

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