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Schofield Barracks, LtoR; Steven Shaffer, 11, now a Cub Scout, salutes his father, Capt. Clarence Shaffer right, and Maj. Jamie Aiken, 25th Inf. Div., Artillery S-2.  The Major was Captain Shaffer's CO in 1956 when he adopted Steven while serving in Korea.

28 March 1963, Photo by SP4 Melvin Bolden, 125th Signal Battalion (Inf. Div.) APO 25


Not Quite Like the Old Days

Korean Orphan, Father Greet Old CO


The uniforms have changed but the people are the same in these "before and after" photos.  At left, three year old Steven Shaffer, then a Korean orphan, salutes his "company commander," Capt. Jamie Aiken (center), and future adopted father SFC Clarence E. Shaffer during a meeting with "the old man" in Korea in 1955.  At right, Steven, now 11, reenacts the salute for Maj. Aiken and Capt. Shaffer during a reunion at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

(USA Photos)


SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (IO)-Steven Shaffer, a Korean orphan who adopted an American father in the Republic of Korea in 1955 met his old "company commander" here recently.

Steven, now 11, was three years old when he began looking for a father.  He moved into an Army hut, ate in the soldiers' mess hall and snapped salutes to Capt. Jamie Aiken, commander, Co. I, 19th Inf., 24th Inf. Div.

That was eight years ago.  Today he is the adopted son of Capt. Clarence E. Shaffer, who was a sergeant when Steven chose him as a father.  Shaffer has been training officer for the Army garrison at Schofield Barracks and when Aiken (now a major) was recently assigned to the 25th Inf. Div. Arty. Here, Shaffer took Steven by to say hello.

Recognition came slow for the major, but when Stevie snapped off the old familiar salute, Aiken remembered fast.  Stevie thanked the major for looking the other way during cold Korean nights when the orphan's soldier buddies brought extra fuel oil to Shaffer's hut to keep the fire burning all night.

Aiken remembers how "big, hard rock guys" got misty-eyed when Stevie left Korea in 1956 with his new father who had been accepted for the Army Infantry Officers Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga.  Having followed his father's Army career from Korea to Fort Benning, Ga., to Camp Gary,Tex., to Fort Lewis, Wash., Stevie was pretty sold on life in Hawaii but looked forward to flying back to Georgia where his father has now enrolled in another course for infantry officers.

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