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MARGUERITE KISSES HER NEW DADDY.  Good-by, Pohang; Hello, Miami!

Stars and Stripes, May 18, 1956

Marine, Korean Daughter on Way to U.S.

HQ., 1ST MARINE AIR WING, Korea-Marine S/Sgt. Robert A. Rocke took off his identification tag and hung it around the neck of Lee Seng Soun on her third birthday last Christmas.  It was a big event in both their lives.

Last week, Rocke and Soun, who is now Marguerite E. Rocke, boarded a Marine Corps transport for a 10,000 mile trip to Rocke's new duty station-the Marine Corps Air Station at Miami.  Welcoming them will be Mrs. Rocke and Mike Rocke, 3, who live in Miami.

Rocke first noticed his new daughter during a Christmas Day party given by Marine Aircraft Group-12 for several hundred Korean orphans from the Pohang Catholic Orphanage.

PUTTING THE identification tag around her neck was the first move in the long, arduous adoption process that ended four months later after 30 hours of flying between Pohang and Seoul, and endless hours in jeeps, buses, even oxcarts, as Rock traveled to get signatures of Korean officials to make the adoption legal.  The change from Lee Seng Soun to Marguerite E. Rocke was all the more difficult because Rocke was the first air wing marine to adopt a Korean orphan. 

While the sergeant was moving through Korea on the adoption proceedings, his overseas tour ran out, so he had to extend to complete the work.  Meantime, his future daughter was moved from the Pohang Catholic Orphanage to the National Catholic Welfare Council orphanage near Pusan to begin extensive physical examinations.

LATER THE CHILD was taken to the main Catholic orphanage at Seoul where Rocke signed final papers before taking her back to the airbase.  That night in Rocke's hut, Marguerite got her first American bath in a pastry pan-while several Leathernecks stood by offering advice and moral support.  One of them was M/Sgt. John E. Luhta, who accompanied Rocke on the trip to Seoul to pick up Marguerite.  Luhta is now adopting a Korean boy.  And at least 10 other Marines at Marine Aircraft Group-12 are planning to adopt Korean orphans.




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