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Pacific Stars and Stripes, Oct. 3, 1952

Korean Orphan Awaits U.S. Trip To New Family

WITH U.S. 40TH DIV. Oct. 2- Chang Ki Whan, 15-year old Korean orphan, is going home.  When his family and the town where he was born were destroyed by war in 1950,Chang went to work for the American soldiers. He knew little English. He was lonely and unaccustomed to the ways and habits of Americans.

IN EARLY 1951, Chang was hired by the 1st Battalion motor pool, 223rd Regiment and met Cpl. Donald L. Peliett, Kelso, Washington. The two became friends. They talked about their homes; Chang about the past; Peliett about the future.

Peliett wanted the boy to come to America with him. But it wasn't easy for the Korean lad. His nation had a thousand-year old culture. He agreed finally to go and Peliett began the formal adoption procedure. Then, unexpectedly, the two found themselves about to be separated.

Cpl. Robert L. Green, Mobile, Alabama, master sergeant, began a collection to send Chang to school. He hung a steel helmet on the wall in the motor pool and the men poured in $350.

Since Peliett was unmarried, he couldn't adopt the lad, but his parents were eager to have Chang become part of their family of five boys and a girl.

WITH 14 DAYS BETWEEN letter and answer, progress was slow. Peliett was rotated before the arrangements could be completed, so he left the final paperwork to 1st Lt. Albert C. Kelly, Chattanooga, Tennessee, motor pool officer.

Now it is just a matter of time before the forms are completed and the adoption legal. Soon Chang, waiting in a high school in Seoul, will go home to America to be greeted by his new family.



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