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
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
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.
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.