Retirement ceremony is a double celebration for Col. Pak

| March 14, 2013 | 2 Comments
Col. Yeong-Tae "Y.T." Pak (left), former head of the APCSS's Executive Operations Group, receives the American flag from his son, 1st Lt. Jason Pak, during a very special retirement ceremony, March 4. (William Goodwin, Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies Public Affairs)

Col. Yeong-Tae “Y.T.” Pak (left), former head of the APCSS’s Executive Operations Group, receives the American flag from his son, 1st Lt. Jason Pak, during a very special retirement ceremony, March 4. (William Goodwin, Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies Public Affairs)

Mary Markovinovic
Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies Public Affairs

HONOLULU — Col. Yeong-Tae “Y.T.” Pak and his family celebrated the conclusion of his 30-year career in the U.S. Army in a ceremony held at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, here, March 4.

Pak’s career is one that has taken him and his family around the world, with assignments in Germany, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Washington, D.C., and finally, Hawaii, where he served as the head of the APCSS Executive Operations Group.

Lt. Gen. David Halverson, deputy commander, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, who served with Pak several times throughout their respective careers, was the event’s honored speaker and spoke of the importance of family and their family ties, which was an unofficial theme for the ceremony.

Col. Yeong-Tae "Y.T." Pak (second from left), former head of the APCSS's Executive Operations Group, cuts the cake at his retirement ceremony with help from (from left) his son, 1st Lt. Jason Pak; daughter, U.S. Air Force ROTC Cadet Sarah Pak; and wife, Young-Ae Pak. (William Goodwin, Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies Public Affairs)

Col. Yeong-Tae “Y.T.” Pak (second from left), former head of the APCSS’s Executive Operations Group, cuts the cake at his retirement ceremony with help from (from left) his son, 1st Lt. Jason Pak; daughter, U.S. Air Force ROTC Cadet Sarah Pak; and wife, Young-Ae Pak. (William Goodwin, Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies Public Affairs)

Also participating in the ceremony were Pak’s wife, Young-Ae; his daughter, Air Force ROTC cadet (and former APCSS intern) Sarah Pak; and his son, Army 1st Lt. Jason Pak.

Two months ago, Jason Pak was critically injured by an IED while serving in Afghanistan. He lost both legs and several fingers, but despite his injuries, the junior Pak has kept his positive attitude.

A tight-knit family, the Paks came together to support Jason during his recovery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

During his recovery, Jason set a goal: to stand at his father’s retirement ceremony.

And as Pak closed out his career, both his son and daughter were standing proudly at attention.

“It was 30 years ago when I stood on the plains at West Point to take my oath as a proud officer in the United States Army,” said Pak. “It has been a tremendous journey that has not only developed me as a person, but provided me a wealth of experience and numerous friends around the world that will last a lifetime.”

The Pak Family

The story of 1st Lt. Jason Pak and his father was covered by local ABC news affiliate KITV.

The video can be viewed online at www.kitv.com/Solider-who-lost-his-legs-stands-for-his-father-s-retirement/-/8906042/19181318/-/item/0/-/17vywr/-/index.html.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Alex M Franco says:

    I was stationed at Giessen Germany during 1982-1985. My unit was 2/92 FA and I remembered a young West Point LT, assigned as AXO. Looking at this video Col. Pak looks like that young LT.

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