SEOUL — First Signal Brigade leaders signed an “agreement of cooperation” with Yongsan city’s mayor Monday to formalize their Good Neighbor Program.

The soldiers have a longstanding relationship with the off-base community, but they said the agreement will help strengthen their volunteer programs.

Brigade commander Col. LaWarren V. Patterson said Monday’s ceremony was “very much worthwhile” and that he’s continually amazed at his soldiers’ involvement with the community.

The agreement will help the soldiers in their effort to volunteer off base, which is “just as beneficial for the U.S. soldiers and their families” as it is for the people they help, Patterson said.

Mayor Park Jang-gyu thanked Patterson and his soldiers for attending the ceremony and for providing “systematic English education” for more than 600 local students.

In addition to the language instruction, the students and soldiers learn about and share each other’s cultures, Park said.

Company commanders from the 14th and 251st signal detachments and the Headquarters and Headquarters Company signed the agreements with local government officials before Patterson and Park exchanged copies in front a colorful banner that read “Good Neighbor Program; General Agreement of Understanding.”

Capt. Magdaleno Guzman, 14th Signal Detachment company commander, said he was happy to be involved “because it’s going to provide us even more of an opportunity to do volunteer work.”

“We’re ready to go, ready to volunteer,” he said.

Hwang Hae-rym contributed to this report.

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