Korea Arrival

I arrived on Thursday, June 17th, to Osan. Osan hosts a major air base and is about an hour south of Seoul. It was a fairly straight forward process of working through Korean customs, despite the long line. I grabbed my bags and was directed to a bus. We were transported up to Yongsan, the hub of US military presence in South Korea and located in Seoul. After some initial inprocessing I headed over to the Dragon Hill Lodge. The Dragon Hill is a really nice resort/hotel run by the US military, similar to ones located in Hawaii and Germany.

I was able to do a load of laundry, buy a towel (I’d forgot to pack one!), check email, and do a webcam Skype call back home. I tried staying up until 9pm, with the time change really working it’s evil. I woke up around 3am, ready to go… but with nowhere to go. The gym opened at 4:30am, which allowed me to get in a workout. Friday’s inprocessing was to be conducted in civilian attire – unusual but I wasn’t complaining. Like most inprocessing, it dragged quite a bit. Those of us leaving Yongsan and heading up to 2nd Infantry Division-land were herded onto a bus and transported up to Camp Stanley, less than an hour north of Seoul. Driving through Seoul is a reminder of the duality of Korea. Seoul is a super modern city with everything you could think of. But it doesn’t take too far of a trip until you reach areas that could easily be considered third world.

Camp Stanley is a small installation, maybe half mile by half mile square. It serves as the inprocessing location for all 2ID soldiers. Here our records our updated, equipment is issued, and everything is done to prepare a recently arrived soldier to be integrated into his unit, ready to get to work. However, it is a Monday through Friday schedule. Upon our arrival we received a general briefing covering the Do’s and Don’ts, issued rooms and bed linen (no towel – but I had bought mine earlier), and we settled in for the weekend. Restricted to the camp while we inprocess, there are all the basics amenities located within short walking distance: Post Exchange (PX – like a small department store), Commissary (the military’s grocery store which stocks just about everything you could get stateside), a food court, community activities center (like a rec center; pool tables, TV, video games, and free wifi), gym, and library (also with free wifi).

I’ve considered pulling my FT-817 out to see what I can hear, but think I will wait until I arrive at my final destination, which should be sometime next week.

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