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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 3:14 p.m., Saturday, May 19, 2007

UH ROTC cadet commissioned at White House

Advertiser Staff

David Song, a University of Hawai'i Army ROTC Cadet, was one of 55 Cadets and Midshipmen from across the nation in Army, Navy and Air Force ROTC programs commissioned at a White House ceremony Thursday. Song received his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army by President Bush.

Song, a Pennsylvania native, is a former enlisted soldier who completed a combat tour in Afghanistan on a Civil Affairs team before coming to the University of Hawai'i Army ROTC program.

"This is truly an honor to be part of (Thursday's) ceremony and to represent my family and the Army ROTC program in Hawai'i. I had the option to either go to the Officer Candidate School or into ROTC. I wanted to further my education and develop myself as a leader. The ROTC program at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa offered me an excellent opportunity to seek both," Song said.

Song's parents, Bin So and Jung Hee Song, originally from Korea and currently residing in Doylestown, Pa., also attended the ceremony. "My parents emigrated from South Korea to the United States. They came here seeking a better life. I owe this country my freedom and I want to pay debt to those who went before me," Song said.

Song attributes much of his work ethic to his parents and working with his parents in the inner-streets of Philadelphia.

"My parents used to run a small produce store, and I would sometime help them on a weekend," Song said. "It was hard work. My father would get up early in the morning to purchase the produce at the market, while my mother would prep the store before opening hours. Customers came from all walks of life — some good, some bad. When we finally closed the store, we ended a 14-hour day (sometimes longer) and most of the time, took work home with us. My parents did this for 25 years, all for their children's sake."