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NEWS | June 25, 2022

ROK-U.S. descendants of Korean War veterans serve as honorary pitcher and batter

By Kyounga (Kate) Michael USFK Public Affairs

Lt. Col. Miranda L. Killingsworth gathered herself as she stepped into the batter’s box in front of the crowd at Suwon KT Wiz Park.

On the pitcher’s mound was her Republic of Korea counterpart Capt. (P) Ji Sang-gon.

Wearing the number 72 on her jersey to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the start of the Korean War, Killingsworth, Eighth Army assistant chief of staff G9 for Civil-Military Operations, served as the honorary batter, while Ji, assigned to 2nd Infantry Division/ROK-U.S. Combined Division, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

 

Each year in June, the Republic of Korea honors its patriots and veterans with several events throughout the month. ROK Ministry of National Defense planned this event to commemorate those who sacrificed during the Korean War. Both Killingsworth and Ji are descendants of Korean War veterans who fought to defend the ROK.

“My grandfather was assigned to the 523rd Fighter Escort Squadron under the 27th Fighter Wing during the Korean War,” Killingsworth said. “My grandfather and I shared this special bond being that I was his only grandchild to join the service. So that gave us the opportunity for him to tell me all his stories and talk about his service from serving in Korea for his first overseas assignment.”

At the start of the game, the ROK MND Band performed the ROK national anthem to honor and remember the fallen heroes who fought for our freedom.

 

A picture of the back of Lt. Col. Killingsworth's and Capt. (P) Ji's baseball jersey's with the numbers 72 and 625, respectively.
ROK-U.S. descendants of Korean War veterans serve as honorary pitcher and batter
A picture of the back of Lt. Col. Killingsworth's and Capt. (P) Ji's baseball jersey's with the numbers 72 and 625, respectively.
ROK-U.S. descendants of Korean War veterans serve as honorary pitcher and batter
Lt. Col. Miranda Killingsworth and Capt. (P) Ji Sang-gon will serve as the honorary batter and pitcher during a baseball game at KT Wiz Park between the Suwon-KT Wiz and LG Twins Baseball Club. Both are descendants of veterans who fought in the Korean War, which began 72 years ago on June 25.
Photo By: Pfc. Chung Seung Hwan
VIRIN: 220625-A-D0486-1001

“Personally, I think it is a great honor to be able to participate in this meaningful moment. I was a little nervous that Lt. Col. Killingsworth might hit a home run against me,” Ji said with a smile. “The reason I can stand here now is because of senior Korean soldiers and U.N. troops from 16 countries, including the United States.”

Today, June 25, marks the 72nd anniversary of the start of the Korean War. The date’s significance was not lost on either participant.

Killingsworth said she feels honored to be able to help commemorate this day in history, while Ji expressed appreciation for the soldiers who are currently working with the U.S. as one team in the ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Division and all the U.S. service members in South Korea.

 

The Korean War began on June 25, 1950, and the Armistice, signed in July 1953, suspended the full-scale hostilities on the Korean peninsula.

Today, 28,500 U.S. service members stand side-by-side with their ROK partners, demonstrating America’s continued commitment to the combined defense of the peninsula.

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