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Seventh Air Force Volunteers Make Kimchi For Less Fortunate

More than 50 members of the 7th Air Force Airpower Team joined with 200 Korean volunteers to make kimchi for the less lucky in the parking garage of the Pyongtaek City Hall Nov. 23.

Kimchi is a standard Korean side dish made of fermented vegetables blended with spices. The volunteer opportunity was set up by Mr. Choi, Yoon Soo, the 7th AF/A2 honorary commander.

"The objective for this event is to produce a mass item of kimchi, however much 250 people can make in a couple of hours, and have this kimchi distributed to the local population in need," stated 1st Lt. Matthew Demars, 7th AF/A2 volunteer planner for this occasion.

Volunteers were offered hats, gloves, masks and aprons then shown to a table where hundreds of heads of cabbage and bags of pepper paste awaited them. The paste had to be rubbed into every leaf of cabbage prior to being bagged, boxed, stacked and delivered to fridges for fermentation before delivery.

One of the volunteers seized the day to express his thanks to the regional community for the chance to offer something back.

"Our Korean equivalents are great hosts with the very same goals ... giving of ourselves to assist those less lucky," stated Brig. Gen. Russell Mack, 7th AF vice commander to the crowd. "Events such as these strengthen the fantastic relationships we have as buddies and good next-door neighbors within the neighborhood."

The possibility to offer something back to the Pyongtaek community is the driving force behind the volunteer effort, stated Demars.

"We've developed a great alliance and relationship with the ROK over the past 60 years, however it's important to do more than just sustain it," he said. "Every occasion like this is a little action to continue to grow and build on our relationship."