Thai, U.S. service members visit nursing home in Korat

| March 1, 2018 | 0 Comments

Royal Thai Air Force Flying Officer Pakorn Pisitsart hugs a resident of Tam Ma Pa Korn (Watmuang) nursing home during Exercise Cobra Gold 2018 in Korat, Kingdom of Thailand, Feb. 14, 2018. Pisitsart is a pilot with Wing 1, Royal Thai Air Force. Humanitarian civic assistance programs conducted during Cobra Gold 18 demonstrate a mutual commitment to the humanitarian interest of friends and partner nations, and aim to improve the quality of life and the general health and welfare of civilian residents in the exercise areas. Cobra Gold 18 is an annual exercise conducted within the Kingdom of Thailand held from Feb. 13-23 with seven full participating nations. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Andrew Jones)

Story and photos by
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Andrew Jones
III Marine Expeditionary Force

KORAT, Thailand — U.S. and Thai service members who are participants in Cobra Gold 18 at Camp Friendship and Korat Air Force Base, here, spent their morning presenting flowers, singing and dancing with residents of a nursing home, Feb. 14.

Service members in attendance were U.S. Soldiers with 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division; U.S. Sailors with Marine Wing Support Squadron 171; U.S. Marines with Marine Aircraft Group 36; and Airmen from Wing 1, Wing 6 and Headquarters, Royal Thai Air Force.

The visit brought smiles to the faces of the elderly, as well as the service members. It bridged the gap between cultures, ages, branches of the military and the two countries.

“I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Andrew Forester, the command chaplain for Marine Wing Support Squadron 171. “Their energy, hospitality and their warmth made it so that we were the ones who benefited from this exchange.

“It is great to see people who have lived a lot of life, but still have a lot of life in them,” Forester continued. “I think it is easy for service members to lose sight of the long range and what life is all about, and to see people who have figured out how to be joyful and happy and to enjoy what they have, it’s pretty fantastic.”

U.S. Army Pfc. Christopher Wilson dances with a resident of Tam Ma Pa Korn (Watmuang) nursing home during Exercise Cobra Gold 2018 in Korat, Kingdom of Thailand, Feb. 14, 2018. Wilson is a religious affairs specialist with 2-25 Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, and is a native of Fayetteville, N.C. Humanitarian civic assistance programs conducted during Cobra Gold 18 demonstrate a mutual commitment to the humanitarian interest of friends and partner nations, and aim to improve the quality of life and the general health and welfare of civilian residents in the exercise areas. Cobra Gold 18 is an annual exercise conducted within the Kingdom of Thailand held from Feb. 13-23 with seven full participating nations. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Andrew Jones)

Humanitarian civic assistant programs conducted during Cobra Gold 18 demonstrate a mutual commitment to the humanitarian interest of friends and partner nations, and aim to improve the quality of life and the general health and welfare of civilian residents in the exercise areas.

“Community relations events show that we are not just interested in training with their military, but also that we are interested in making genuine contributions to the welfare of their country and increasing the positive relationships developed during the exercise,” said Forester.

Throughout the exercise, more community relations events like this are scheduled to take place.

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