DAMUPO VILLAGE, South Korea --
According to Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, the Greek Hellenistic Era was widely recognized for its architectural beauty. One of the country's most well-known cities, Santorini, is highly recognized for its white and blue buildings overlooking the ocean.
Through inspiration, the residents of Damupo Village, South Korea, adopted this architectural technique to help attract tourism. However, on Aug. 29, 2022, Typhoon Hinnamnor overtook the village and severely damaged the structures. To help the village recover from the natural disaster, Marines and local residents came together to repaint the damaged homes.
“For me, knowing that I came out here today to make a difference among the local community makes me feel accomplished,” said Navy Seaman Chance Kendall, a religious program specialist with 3rd Radio Battalion, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “This was my first time volunteering in a foreign country, and this experience makes me want to continue volunteering when I get home.”
Attendees met at the center of the village, where they listened to instructions provided by lead volunteers. After the instructions were given, the attendees formed a line and gathered paint buckets, paint brushes, and protective ponchos. The volunteers then split into groups. The groups worked together to paint walls, roofs, and exteriors of houses and buildings. After the painting was completed, the volunteers returned to the center of the village, where they socialized over a meal provided by the village before heading separate ways.
“I realize that for some people, painting houses is categorized as a small thing, but to me, this means the world,” said Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Marcos RodriguezRivera, a patrolman with Provost Marshal's Office, Camp Mujuk. “I remember when Typhoon Hinnamnor came here last year, and the Marines rushed to help clean the wreckage. Because of that day, I’ve been encouraged to continue to be active and help this great community.”
“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence,” said Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This means that no matter how big or small the task is, the action of doing something for others always means something.
Kendall explained that he feels like events like this helps bring an emotional tie to members of a unit creating cohesion. He expressed that his favorite part of the day was working with Marines from a variety of units to accomplish a common goal.
“As I was walking around, I felt accomplished,” said RodriguezRivera. “I think that events like this show accomplishment because when we arrived at the village, the goal was to help with beautification. When we left the town, it looked better than when we arrived.”