Pacific Stars and Stripes, Oct. 3, 1952
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