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Backbone of the Wolf Pack

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Mya M. Crosby
  • 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

If you’ve seen a base map or a COVID sign lining the walls of your unit, then you may have unwittingly viewed the handiwork of a man whose legacy with the Wolf Pack spans longer than many Airmen here have been alive.

Not everyone in the pack will get to meet the man behind the graphics, yet Sok Sun-Min, 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs graphics technician, is a prime example of what makes the Wolf Pack a heritage-driven home-away-from-home.

As a second-generation Republic of Korea employee for the U.S. Air Force, Sun-Min joined the workforce at Kunsan AB shortly after the retirement of his father, Sok Ton-Sik, who served as the previous graphics technician.

“My father was always very, very strict,” Sun Min said. “He wanted me to be my very best. My English wasn’t very good so he made me study and go to many classes. I know he wanted me to be in graphics.”

However, Sok’s walk within the R.O.K and U.S. alliance did not only begin due to his father’s influence.

Throughout his life, Sun-Min has not only witnessed, but been shaped by history. Beginning from his birth during the foundation of the U.S. and R.O.K. alliance, leading to his time within the R.O.K. Army, and finally through his service at Kunsan.

“My first day was Jan. 1, 1995,” Sun Min said. “I’ve been working here for 25 years and have worked with many good people. Before, I worked in the Army and owned my own clothing shop.”

Though he was a man of many professions, Sun Min explained how the world of graphics is continuously evolving.

“My father did everything by hand,” Sun Min said as he showed photos of his father working on vintage graphics tables. “Technology keeps advancing, making the job a little easier. I’m happy to see it.”

Though Sun Min considers himself “a technician working around artists” in the 8th FW Public Affairs shop, he reflects on how the technology advancement has not only helped him, but his daughter, as well.

“Art is fun - the world of art is wide and deep, satisfying my curiosity,” Sok Ji Hye said. “I have been talented in art since childhood. My Father bought me necessary equipment and materials, so I was never short of them.”

Establishing future generations of hard work and dedication is one of many goals for the Sok family. With great effort comes stress, and Sok emphasized that golf has been his escape to remedy that stress for nearly 20 years now.

“I was 42 years old when I started because I had more free time,” Sun Min said. “All parents from my time - 1958 to 1963 - are very hard working parents. They only take care of their family and their kids. But now, my duty is almost done. My daughters are grown up and they have jobs so now I have free time to golf.”

Despite the spare time Sok has, the years of dedicated work he and his family have invested with the Wolf Pack has had a profound impact on his life.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time,” Sun Min laughed as he turned around to quickly glance at his wall of achievements. “I recently reached 26 years, and I’ll keep going.”