Story by CPT Linda Gerron on 07/16/2018The 658th Regional Support Group, 9th Mission Support Command, hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony and dedicated the Armed Forces Reserve Center here to the late Col. Young-Oak Kim Saturday morning.
Kim, a highly decorated Soldier who was assigned, in 1943, to the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, is well known for his courageous participation in the Battle of Anzio after he volunteered to crawl into no-man's land in Germany and captured two Germans whose information later helped with the liberation of Rome on June 4, 1944.
"Col. Kim was adamant about his commitment to the Army and the Soldiers around him," said Col. Harry B. Hudick, 658th Regional Support Group commander. "Those who personally knew him can attest he was a man passionate about serving his Nation; he was a leader who cared about Soldiers and people."
Kim's legacy; however, is not based solely on his contributions to the Army. According to Woo Sung Han, award-winning journalist and author of "Unsung Hero", half of Kim's real story lies in his humanitarian accomplishments.
As Kim fought in the front lines of the Korean War, Han says Kim took care of 500 orphans for 18-months. After his time in service, Kim then dedicated his life to helping women of domestic violence, victims of Japan's sexual slavery, senior citizens, children, the underprivileged, and orphans, to name a few.
"He promised to himself that if he survived the war he would dedicate his life to the improving the community he belonged to," said Han. "And he kept his promise. He was a guardian angel for second-class citizens in the peace time."
Among those present for the ceremony were Maj. Gen. Arlan M. DeBlieck, Eight Army deputy commanding general of sustainment; Brig. Gen. Douglas Anderson, commanding general of the 9th Mission Support Command; Dyanne McMath, niece of Col. Young-Oak Kim; Edward Chang, director of the Young-Oak Center for Korean American Studies; and Stephen Kagawa, chairman of the board of directors for Go For Broke National Education Center.
"I am humbled as the commander to be able to preside over this ceremony," said Hudick. "When our Soldiers come to training, they will walk into this building and see Col. Kim, a man who served his Nation for 33 years during probably the most difficult times this Nation has ever faced; however, he did it for the love of country, for the love of his fellow man. That's why it's so important we commemorate him."
Kim's memorial plaque and portrait are posted at the entrance of the facility.
The Col. Young-Oak Kim Armed Forces Reserve Center at U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, South Korea will continue to be used to improve the readiness and ability of the U.S. Army Reserve to train, alert, and deploy in support of current and future contingency operations, including homeland defense.