Formerly known as "Cruzers in Korea"

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pier 8 Organization Day

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Here's another video for you that I hope you like.  Excuse some of the atrocious dancing.  I didn't know I was being taped.

At least annually, most military units will take a pause to have a fun day dedicated to camaraderie, team building and relaxation.  One name for this type of event is Organization Day.  I found out that Pier 8 as a whole has never had an event like this together as a group.  Pier 8 is comprised of twelve different units.  While the individual units like MSCO Korea or 837th Transportation Battalion have had individual Organization Days in the past, the entire Pier 8 Team had yet to do one together.  As the Pier 8 Commander, I thought it was time to do just that.

So in June 2009, we kicked off the first ever Pier 8 Organization Day.  You know I like a good party.  We had a great live band that had folks dancing.  We roasted a whole pig, grilled burgers and hot dogs and had plenty of good American and Korean food.  There were a bunch of children's activities too like an inflatable bounce house, huge climbing apparatus and slide, a ball pit, a balloon artist, and a fire truck static display.  We also had many raffle prizes like luxury hotel packages, commissary vouchers and restaurant gift certificates.  The dunk tank fundraiser was very popular.  We raised a lot of money which went towards the Pier 8 Christmas Party and the two orphanages that we sponsor.  

Many leaders from the Busan community were in attendance to share in the festivities to include the Korean American Busan Association, People To People International, Busan Veteran's Hospital and the Busan International Women's Association (BIWA).  We also invited children from the Sung Ae Won Orphanage and Miewon Orphanage to come out to Pier 8 for this fun day.  As you can tell from the video, the kids had a blast.  Smiles all around.  Pier 8 and BIWA team up on various events throughout the year to help support the Sung Ae Won Orphanage.

A lot of hard work went into making this event a success.  Many thanks to my folks at MSCO Korea, the Kargo Kings of 837th Transportation Battalion, Chinhae MWR, the USO in Daegu and all the others that made the Pier 8 Org Day such a big hit.  Special thanks to my old Executive Officer (XO), Lieutenant Commander Ray Franklin for pulling all of this together.  Miss you my friend.  I also have to tell you that two of my folks, Chief Henderson and the now retired Petty Officer Betita, volunteered to stay up all night roasting the pig.  They told me that they wanted to do it.  I told them it was too much work and that they shouldn't do it.  They insisted though.  Howz that for dedication?  I also have to pass special kudos to Ms. Kang because she did not bail out of her dunk tank responsibilities like some others did.  The top vote-getters had to get in the tank.  She did her part like a champ.  I think my favorite part of the whole video is the slow motion piece of the dunk tank.  

Quick story.  Back when Camp Hialeah was still open in Busan, they would open the gates once a year for a big party and invite many Korean locals to join in the festivities.  It might have even been the Camp Hialeah Organization Day.  They would grill up hamburgers and hot dogs and have games and other entertainment.  I've had a couple of Koreans tell me about their memories of those days at the Camp and how it was their first time to experience an American hamburger and American culture.  They told me that these were good memories that stuck with them - memories that helped them to have a better understanding of the United States, a more favorable understanding.

I like to think that some of the things we've been able to do with the local community - particularly with the two orphanages - have had a positive effect.  As these precious kids are guzzling down a Mountain Dew and enjoying a burger while taking a break from jumping to their heart's content in the bounce house, maybe these experiences will become lasting memories.  Good memories.

Chris from the Sung Ae Won Orphanage shared with me recently that some of the kids told her, "I like Hello's best."  She explained to me that the "Hello's" are the foreigner volunteers at the orphanage.  They call us "Hello's" because that's the first thing we usually say when we see them - Hello!  Well, I am very proud to be a "Hello!"  Until next time -- C2

Pier 8 Org Day Video on Youtube


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