Athletics

September, 2010

Hello again Lord Jeff Legion,

It is already the end of this summer and the end of my fifteenth month in the military. I cannot believe how fast the days are going by. I always say out loud to my acquaintances, "I miss Amherst so much, and I cannot wait to go back to both play soccer and study hard"!
 
During the summer, I used several of my few vacation days to go up to Seoul to see my close friends who were back in Korea for the summer from the US. Just last weekend, I went to Pusan, the second biggest city in S.Korea, to hang out with a friend (Amherst 2012) who also enlisted in the S.Korean Marines this Monday to complete his duty in the military. Most of my other friends are back in the United States now getting ready for the new academic year. Talking to them, I feel upset that I have to wait another academic year to finish my military service. On the other hand though, time has been flying by like James Mooney's 100m sprint, and I feel like I can wait several months to be done with this.
 
A few days ago, I called up the guys because I wanted to hear the voices that are so much missed in my heart. Through the phone, I could feel the vibe of team spirit that has been carrying Amherst Men's Soccer . Hearing their voices was phenomenal. I felt how much you guys miss me, and I want to let the guys know that I miss them more.
 
This spring, I was promoted to Petty Officer, the 3rd Class from Seaman. I only have one more promotion to Petty Officer 2nd Class in January, before I complete military service next June. I know next January will be here in no time for two reasons. First, following Amherst soccer will make me so excited and hyped up that I will have no sense of time at all.  If the last fifteen months in the military went by as so, the following four months should go by as fast as Usain Bolt (sorry James, he's faster).Another piece of great news is that my brother also enlisted in the military and was dispatched to the R.O.K. Naval Academy to do the same job as me. I remember how hard it was to leave Amherst after one year, so I recommended to my brother he should enlist right after high school, so he does not have to be anxious about leaving his friends behind one year into college. He took my advice in the right way, and came to the military in Korea June 7th, just one day after he made a great speech as the valedictorian at his high school graduation.
 
Although where I work is in the military, I comparatively have lots of time to waste, so I sometimes think about cool things that can happen in the future, such as Amherst Soccer International Trip to S.Korea. Changwon, the city I live in, recently constructed a huge soccer complex that holds many of the national matches. Also, the city has its own professional team. Moreover, I know some ex-professional players who can hook us up with semi-professional teams or other great teams to scrimmage. Visiting S.Korea will be entirely a new experience for many of you guys. I know the country is not very well known internationally, but observing and experiencing the new culture would be just like another study abroad session provided at Amherst.
 
Talking about visiting Korea, Matt Lewis ’10 is currently in the city of Bundang teaching  English to kids. I have talked to him several times, and every time I talk to him, he is shocked by newly experienced Korean culture. Thanksgiving week in Korea is coming up in September, and I am planning to invite Matt and his girlfriend, Katrina to my family's place to show them traditional services Koreans do for their ancestors. Also, I will take them around Seoul to show some great nightlife experience and get cell phones for them so Matt can call me whenever he has questions. It is awesome that Matt chose Korea out of all the countries in the world to do something great for a short period of time.
 
Anyways, the season is about to start. I remember when I first ran two miles in front of Coach Serpone. My time was much slower than I would have hoped. After the run, Coach Hamm pulled me aside and said, "Coach is thinking about not giving you a uniform, so you better step up." Now, when I think about it - that is really scary. Should I had not received a uniform, I would not have been a part of such a wonderful group. Hopefully, everyone trained very hard over the summer to earn that uniform I did not entirely earn in 2008. Pre-season is always tough. Two miles, play, run, beep test, national team run, etc. I came to realize that all the difficulties we went through during pre-season meant more than just improving your fitness. It generates the team atmosphere for the entire season. We were able to do so well in 2008 because a severe preseason required everyone to depend on each other, care for each other, and just love each other. I believe this year captains will do a great job with this.
 
There is only a week and half left to go before Bowdoin...I know the team realizes how close it is and how serious each of us has to be for each other.
 
Good luck!

Jae