"Korea - A First Impression"
I arrived in Korea after having a non stop party via Seattle Washington. I flew Northwest Orient
Airlines commercial but the Airliner developed a fuel leak in the right wing and we were sent back
to SEA-TAC airport. After a 9 hour delay we got underway again but with fewer passengers. The
stewardesses announced that any serviceman could leave coach and fly the rest of the flight First
Class....unlimited alcoholic beverages and super great meals!
Upon my arrival in Tokyo my good luck continued with a two day stay at the Grand Palace Hotel
which was at the time under lease to the Defense Department. Great bar, more good food and we
met some Navy girls who were enroute to Subic Bay in the Philipines. However all good things
must end ....
Landed at Kimpo, after a short briefing got in a chopper and ended up at 2nd Replacement at
Camp Casey. My new boss Lt. Farley picked me up and as we drove down the MSR toward
Uijungbu and ultimately Camp Stanley his driver pointed to a group of Koreans gathered on a hill
with a burning funeral pyre complete with a Sorcerer to clean any "Evil Spirits" The smell made me
so sick I could not eat a decent meal for a few days.
There was also a Korean Prison located adjacent to Camp Stanley where in addition to common
criminals some reputed political prisoners of the Park Chung Hee Regime were housed. From that
day on I have always been grateful to have been lucky enough to be an American and enjoy the
freedom and prosperity many take for granted. I had a great tour with the 2ndID and met many
wonderful people both in my unit but also KATUSA conscripts and Korean civilians.
Sgt Albert Ciampi
D Co 702nd Maint BN
2nd Inf Div
1975 - 1976