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Immigrant gives medals to Korean War veterans

POSTED: April 2, 2009 12:15 a.m.
TOM REED/The Times

The inscription on the back of the medal given each Korean War veteran by Sam Bang of Goodwork Korea.

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As young men in the 1950s, they wore a variety of uniforms in white, navy blue and green.

On Wednesday, they were united in their uniform of khaki pants, navy blue blazers and eyes that shone with pride.

The members of the Hall County chapter of Korean War Veterans of Georgia Inc. gathered Wednesday at the Hilton Garden Inn in Gainesville to receive special recognition from Goodwork Korea Inc. Goodwork Korea Inc. is run by Sam Bang, a native of Seoul, Korea.

"My parents were 5 years old when the Korean War started; I can’t say how honored I am to meet you today," Bang told the group. "Without your support and protection, South Korea could not be the free country that it is today and freely worship God, for communist regimes do not permit its citizens to freely worship God."

Bang, a divinity student at a university in Kentucky, says that meeting with Korean War veterans and showing his appreciation for South Korea’s religious freedom is his mission from God.

During Wednesday's gathering, Bang presented each of the group’s 30 members with a golden medallion to commemorate their efforts during the Korean War.

"This is a wonderful thing that you are doing, and we thank you for being here," said Darrel Whiting, one of the vice presidents of the group.

While speaking to the group, Bang said he likes to refer to the Korean War veterans as "little Jesus," because just as Jesus made sacrifices for religious and spiritual freedom, so did the veterans.

As Bang offered medals to the Hall County veterans with a simple "Thank you for your service and sacrifice," some veterans showed their appreciation with a crisp nod, others offered a quick salute and some offered a few words of their own.

"I am glad I could serve," Jim Evans said.

Since beginning his mission in 2005, Bang has presented medals to nearly 800 Korean War veterans.

"People sometimes forget history, but just know that God never forgets," Bang said. "God never forgets your life and he is pleased with what you have done."



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