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A Korean War veteran’s grandson, Steven DeAmaral, cultivating global relationships at CJ Logistics in Seoul. In Korea, June is regarded as a month of remembrance, honoring Korean War veterans and patriots. The Forgotten War forged a deep connection between South Korea and nations like the US, whose soldiers stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Korean forces to defend freedom. Every June, Steven DeAmaral, an employee of CJ Logistics based in Seoul, takes time to reflect on the memory of his grandfather, William Ronald Christensen (1933-2003), who proudly served as a Korean War veteran. Steven’s Grandfather, William Ronald Christensen (1933-2003) Honoring Korean War Veterans, Steven DeAmaral Recounts His Grandfather’s Legacy of Sacrifice and Resilience Steven’s grandfather served in the US military until the signing of the armistice in July 1953. Afterward, he was honorably discharged as a corporal in September of that same year. After returning to the US, he lived as a respected veteran until his death in 2003. Although Steven, born in 1991, didn’t have the opportunity to spend much time with his grandfather, the war stories he did hear had a profound impact on him. Steven first recalled his grandfather’s stoic recounting of the war, focusing not on stories of combat but of having to shave his head due to lice, or his decision to move to warmer and sunnier California after discharge. Only after his grandfather’s death did he learn the tragic context of those stories: his losing of friends to enemy fire in a muddy trench, or his moving to California as a sort of therapy. From the US to Korea: Relocation Inspired By War Veterans’ Legacies Growing up in California, Steven spent a lot of time with Korean War veterans. He recalls, “Those who were close to my grandmother were also Korean War veterans, and they often shared stories of their experiences. This exposure sparked curiosity about South Korea from a young age, and as I grew up, my fascination with Korean culture deepened, particularly in relation to the Korean Olympic team and Major League Baseball player Shin-Soo Choo.”  After earning his degree from UC Irvine, Steven had a steadfast determination to visit the country that had profoundly influenced his grandfather’s life. His determination paid off when he was chosen as a participant in a scholarship program administered by the Korean War Memorial Foundation. This program offers comprehensive support, including tuition, housing and living expenses, to descendants of war veterans from 21 different countries to study in Korea. He then studied economics at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and successfully completed his degree. It was during his academic journey that he developed an interest in logistics. A two-month internship at CJ Logistics in 2017 further solidified his passion for the industry. As a result, Steven joined the company as a full-time employee in 2018. In his current position, Steven works in Jongno-gu, Seoul, on the Global Business Development team at CJ Logistics. Steven works with a range of clients, including global tire manufacturers and food and beverage companies. Steven’s fluency in Korean not only enables him to communicate with his colleagues but also fosters a connection with the country that has been his home for eight years. “I feel proud and overwhelmed to be working in the country where my grandfather once served,” remarked Steven. He added, “My goal is to be a bridge connecting the world with Korea’s cutting-edge logistics business.”
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