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This month in history: Bill Holley helps Korean orphans

This composite image displays TACOM’s unit insignia from 1967 and today. The image of the first insignia was printed in the January 1967 issue of The Detroit Arsenal News.

In this scanned image from the April 1967 issue of “The Detroit Arsenal News,” orphans in Kwang-Ju, Korea, display boxes of items donated by Bill Holley and his colleagues at TACOM’s maintenance directorate.

Editor’s note: The following article is part of a series of stories and graphics reprinted from TACOM or Army Tank Automotive Center (TACOM’s predecessor) newsletters in 1967 in honor of the command’s 50th anniversary. The terms “ATAC” and “TACOM” are interchangeable throughout this series. This story ran in the April issue of “The Detroit Arsenal News.”
In far off Korea, Bill Holley is America for the 176 orphans at the Ham Kwang Christian Orphanage at Kwang-Ju. He spends a lot of time with these homeless waifs trying to instill a little cheer into their young lives. Through his efforts, these children lead a little better life.
Bill Holley is not a missionary nor a social worker. He is a field maintenance technician of the Maintenance Directorate permanently assigned in Korea to support the Military Assistance Program. His work with the orphanage is done strictly on his own time and expense.
Not too long ago, Holley wrote to his supervisor, Dick Nierescher, for help. To fight the poverty that was besetting the orphanage, several tools were needed urgently. Clothes, coloring books and crayons … not much by our standards but essential to the Korean children.
The response was more than expected. More than 800 pounds of clothing were received and shipped along with 102 new coloring books and boxes of crayons. All were greatly appreciated.
In a letter to Nierescher, Orphanage Superintendent F. Man Kim wrote: “We thank you for the kindness to us and our children. Please express our thanks and appreciation to all of those who made contributions. We ask God’s blessing upon them and their families. Our orphanage will always remember the fine people of your organization.”
Bill Holley is just one of nearly 100 field maintenance technicians serving ATAC overseas … a group truly recognized as “ambassadors in coveralls.”
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