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Mailbag: Heritage must prevail at Bolsa Chica

May 13, 2010

With North and South Korea divided and turmoil brewing once again in the region, we are reminded of the war that led to the division of Korea. Sixty years ago, the United States sent its young but brave soldiers to fight for the freedom and democracy of the Korean people. Although many years have passed, U.S. soldiers have remained in the hearts and minds of the Korean people, who today are able to enjoy freedom of speech, religion and advancements of technology.

On April 24, Sgt. Charles Brown was honored and thanked by his taekwondo community at Victory Martial Arts of Huntington Beach for his sacrifice and selfless service in the Korean War. Brown (3rd Div., 7th Regiment, 1st Battalion, Co. D., 81 Millimeter Mortar Squad) had been stationed in a communist-held region for two years, during which he had lost more than 30 of his fellow soldiers. To this day, he remembers the names and places of those encountered during this horrific war.

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"I was stationed at the bottom of communist-held Papa San (Mountain). During this time, I became very good friends with a Korean soldier, who we nicknamed Bill. He is the reason I have developed such a love for the Korean people," Brown remembered.

In continued efforts to give back to our community and honor those who selflessly sacrificed their safety and well-being for others, Victory Martial Arts presented an honorary plaque of appreciation to Brown in front of the entire student body.

In addition to the plaque, he was presented the rank of third-degree Black Belt, which was certified by the Kukkiwon taekwondo headquarters in Seoul, Korea.

"This is a teaching moment to our students," said Grandmaster J.K. Kim. "They see their community pay respect to the elders, who put their well-being aside for the betterment of an entire nation. It will teach them to remain humble, thankful and inspired."

The Korean War is known as the "forgotten war." However, the service and sacrifice of the brave U.S. soldiers will never be forgotten by the Korean people.

Editor's note: Kim is the head instructor at Victory Martial Arts.

Coyotes adapt, so can we

I have been fortunate to live in neighborhoods adjacent to the Bolsa Chica Wetlands since 1987. On many occasions over the years, I have walked or bicycled through the area just after sunrise, particularly near the mesa. It was not unusual to see 10 or more coyotes during these outings. They always kept a respectable distance, and I never intentionally approached them.

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