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Memories of Gapyeong: Camp life (1952-1953)

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By Robert Neff

Military camps weren't filled with just soldiers. There were many people who supported them (unofficially), such as the houseboys ― teenagers who cleaned the tents, shined the boots and did whatever other chores needed to be done. For their service, they were paid between $10 and $15 a month.

One of the houseboys' duties was laundry. The young entrepreneurs didn't wash it themselves but instead took the dirty clothing to the perimeter fence where they arranged with the local washing women to do it for them. The soldiers were quite pleased with the quality ― the clothes were sweet-smelling (having been dried in the sun) and nothing was ever missing.


© The Korea Times