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An Army tour of duty in South Korea can be challenging, but also rewarding if you go in with the right attitude. South Korea has many fascinating cultural attractions, including temples, Korean War memorials, the Demilitarized Zone, and much more.
If you serve in the Army in South Korea you may be subject to curfews, restrictions on movement, and other hardships based on the proximity of your duty station to the border with North Korea. Additionally, there are very frequent military exercises and war games, as often as once a month in some locations. You will be required to wear a chem suit, gas mask, and other protective gear for extended periods of time during these Army exercises.
The most important thing you can do to make the most of a tour in South Korea is to get a hobby, start your higher education, and communicate regularly with friends and family back home via the internet. One of the most important purchases you can make before going to South Korea is a laptop computer with a wireless connection. Most military bases are equipped with facilities for free wi-fi connections, and you will feel much more connected to home with a laptop at your side whenever you need it.
For long distance phone calls, there are a good selection of pre-paid calling cards made in Korea and sold on base that give very reasonable rates for stateside calling. You will become very familiar with these cards in your first weeks in country, and will most likely be given one free card as part of your in-processing.
Army life in South Korea can indeed be a challenge, but it is much easier to overcome with the right tools, an education plan, and regular calls home.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|