"The best present I could ask for is just to be in America," a 24-year-old-U.S. army man tells me at Friends Bar. He holds his head in one hand, and a Corona beer in the other. After five months of training in the Midwest, he spent only 30 hours at home before flying to Seoul to join over 30,000 other U.S. military personnel here who, for the past five decades, have helped deter North Korean aggression.
This non-commissioned officer, with four others under his command, hasn't seen his family for eight months. But he did get their Christmas present, and loves his Play Station III.