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English books give Gunsan citizens something to read about

GUNSAN CITY, Republic of Korea  May 11, 2007 -- Senior Airman Andrea Smith (back, left) passes books to Senior Airman Kevin Alvarado during the Airmen Committed to Excellence-sponsored "Wolf Pack Paperback" English book drive May 11. The second-annual event raised more than 475 books for Gunsan City residents in an effort to help them hone their English skills. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Steven Doty)

GUNSAN CITY, Republic of Korea May 11, 2007 -- Senior Airman Andrea Smith (back, left) passes books to Senior Airman Kevin Alvarado during the Airmen Committed to Excellence-sponsored "Wolf Pack Paperback" English book drive May 11. The second-annual event raised more than 475 books for Gunsan City residents in an effort to help them hone their English skills. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Steven Doty)

GUNSAN CITY, Republic of Korea  May 11, 2007 -- Airmen Committed to Excellence members unpack English books to be shelved in the English reading section of the Gunsan City library May 11. Known as the "Wolf Pack Paperback" English book drive, the ACE organization raised more than 475 books. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Steven Doty)

GUNSAN CITY, Republic of Korea May 11, 2007 -- Airmen Committed to Excellence members unpack English books to be shelved in the English reading section of the Gunsan City library May 11. Known as the "Wolf Pack Paperback" English book drive, the ACE organization raised more than 475 books. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Steven Doty)

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The 8th Fighter Wing "Wolf Pack's" junior-enlisted Airmen did their part to support the Gunsan City community when they donated more than 475 English language books to a local city library May 11 after a wing-wide book drive that ran from April 2 thru May 4. 

  Known as the second-annual "Wolf Pack Paperback" English book drive, the Airmen Committed to Excellence, or 'A.C.E.' organization, collected the books as a way to give the base's Korean neighbors easier access to English reading material. The end result helps those Koreans refine their English reading skills. 

  "We received a lot of books," said Senior Airman Bernard Byer, current ACE president. "From different reading levels, including children and war books to history and romance novels, the Gunsan City library was very happy to receive them. The Wolf Pack should be proud of what ordinary, junior-enlisted members did for the Gunsan community. I'm just thankful I could be apart of the program and help them out." 

  This year's drive mirrors the 2006 book collection, when the Kunsan Company Grade Officer's Council raised more than 1,270. In comparison, the 2006 drive lasted more than two months. 

  After arriving at the library, the Airmen unloaded the boxes of books and took them to the English reading section. There, they were greeted by awaiting Gunsan City library staff who directed them to the book shelf's location. 

  Once the books were on the shelves, ready for reading, the Airmen meet with Mr. Yi, Pan Sik, library manager. After drinks and warm smiles, Mr. Yi offered his thanks for the Airmen who gave Gunsan City residents a chance to improve on their English skills. 

  "It's been a year since Wolf Pack members visit and it is nice to meet you," Mr. Yi said. "Last year, a lot of children's books were used by Gunsan citizens. They enjoyed them very much." 

  Mr. Yi also challenged the Airmen to return to the library and read English books to Korean children on Sundays. 

  "As director, I appreciate the books and I hope to see you again," he said. "Our children would love for you to come out and read to them. That would make them very happy." 

  Senior Airman Steven Doty, incoming ACE president, said the book drive helps to maintain positive relations between Gunsan City and the base. 

  "Even though these books are for any Korean to read, the idea is that all Korean children, who are required to learn English in grade school, have a way to improve upon their reading skills," Airman Doty said. "After all, they are the leaders of the future." 

  Those seeking more information on how they can help with donating books to Gunsan City can call Ms. Rosemary Song, 8th Fighter Wing community relations director, at DSN 782-5194, or commercial at (011) 82-654-470-5194. Both military members and civilians are encouraged to support the program. 

  Kunsan Airmen interested in ACE and its sponsored activities can call the organization's public relations department at 782-4705.