Soldiers look for perfect holiday gift at Bagram bazaar

PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - A shopkeeper stands by his store in the Bagram Airfield bazaar Dec. 11. The bazaar brings in more than $30,000 into the local economy on a (click for more)

AUP, TF Lethal capture munitions cache in Jaji

PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – A member of the AUP performs a search during an AUP-led operation with Company A, 1st Battalion, 168 Infantry Regiment in Jaji District Dec. 16. (click for more)

Kapisa PRT visits Ghayn Valley

KAPISA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Local children watch members of Kapisa PRT pass as they leave the Abdul Salam High School in Ghayn Valley Dec. 15. (click for more)

Veterinary Services keep donkeys in the fight

LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Maj. Ted A. Broome (right), and U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Eleazar Vizcaino, both assigned to 358th Medical Detachment Veterinary Services, evaluate a donkey at (click for more)

Kunar PRT attends Manogai District elections

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Haji Sher Badir, Manogai District subgovernor, speaks during the election ceremony for the Manogai District Community Council Dec. 9. (click for more)

Next step to Ghazni 2013 project

GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Key elders listen intently while the U.S. and Polish ambassadors, Musa Khan, Ghazni provincial governor, and Amina Safi Afzaly, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, speak (click for more)

Iowa ADT supports Kunar veterinary conference

U.S. Army Maj. Loren Adams, veternarian from New Liberty, Iowa, supervises as an Afghan veterinarian puts final sutures into a neutered dog at a continuing education conference organized by the (click for more)

USO Holiday Tour comes to Bagram

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Actor and comedian Robin Williams talks with U.S. Army Maj. Gen John F. Campbell, Combined Joint Task Force 101 and Regional Command East commander, before the (click for more)

Ambassador Eikenberry dedicates playground at Ghazni orphanage

GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Karl Eikenberry, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, shakes a little girl's hand during the playground dedication at Ghazni City Orphanage in Ghazni Dec. 15. (click for more)

Bravo strengthens relationship with Afghan people

PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Spc. Shane Taylor, a Slater, Iowa, native and Bravo Troop Soldier, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment, Task Force Red Horse, plays with Afghan children (click for more)


PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Spc. Jayson Lee reviews a Soldiers' flight record Dec. 22. The Seoul, South Korea, native previously served two years with the Republic of Korea Army and is currently serving a three-year enlistment with Task Force Phoenix, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Lee plans to do 20 years in the U.S. Army. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Amanda Brown, Task Force Phoenix)PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Spc. Jayson Lee is a unique Soldier serving in the United States Army. The 29-year-old currently serves in the U.S. Army in support of Operation Enduring Freedom XI, but unlike most Soldiers, he has also had the opportunity to serve in the Republic of Korea Army.

Lee said he joined because he wanted to go into the aviation field. “I desire to learn English more, then go to college to get a master’s degree; kind of an American dream.”

Lee was born in Texas in 1981 where he lived with his father, who worked in a management position in the Daewoo Corporation, his mother and older sister.  He only lived there for five years so he said he doesn’t remember much from that time. He does remember enjoying a few things: ice cream trucks playing music and selling icy cold treats, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Cheetos. Lee’s family lived in Texas until November 1985, when they decided to move back to South Korea to be closer to relatives who live in Seoul.

As a child, Lee spent his days like a typical kid. He played Nintendo and air-gun games. He also enjoyed reading his favorite comic books: Dragon Ball Z.  Lee graduated high school in February 2000. There was no debate when he decided to attend Myung-Ji College in Korea for four years, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in advanced science and material. He also took on a minor degree in mechanics. While working on his degree, Lee joined the Republic of Korea Army to serve his mandatory two years of service.  

He left for basic training Dec. 17, 2002. The ROK Army’s basic training consists of tasks very similar to those of the U.S. Army. Some of the required tasks are chemical training, marching, a combat life saver course and weapon qualification with the Korean K-2 rifle. The soldiers complete all their training in six weeks, before being assigned to their first unit.  

Lee’s first assignment was 2nd Division, near the Korean Demilitarized Zone.  His job consisted of providing surveillance for his artillery unit. The unit trained for threats by climbing nearby mountains to do recon surveillance of the area beyond the DMZ.  

After completing his service with the ROK Army in 2005, Lee completed his bachelor’s degree and contemplated his future. That’s when he decided to go after his dream and raised his right hand to join the ranks of the U.S. Army.

While still living in South Korea, Lee joined the U.S. Army as an air traffic control operator Sept. 22, 2009. He reflected on some of the enjoyable things he would leave behind in South Korea such as reliable public transportation, convenient Internet, camping in the valley, and affection between people.  However, his pursuit of the American dream was heavy on his mind. After going through another basic training and technical school, Lee was sent to Fort Drum, N.Y., as his first duty station.  

When Lee raised his right hand to join, he knew it was likely that he’d deploy to either Iraq or Afghanistan – especially in the aviation field.   

“I really worried about deploying,” he said. “U.S. Soldiers are going to deploy to hazardous areas. I felt a little bit afraid of it.”

However, his ambition to obtain his dreams dominated any fear he had about deploying. It is one of Lee’s goals to make a career out of the Army. His ambition lies in taking the aviation experience he gains from the Army and transferring it to a civilian job after his 20 years are complete.  

Lee said he enjoys just about everything in the Army and is proud of supporting Operation Enduring Freedom XI. He plans to reenlist as soon as his window opens.  



Last Updated on Friday, 24 December 2010 18:20


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