Guest Post by James R. Lint
Writers can write about anything, but when we write from the foundation of our unique experiences and perspectives I think the result is more rewarding for both author and reader.
My experiences in Korea recently prompted me to write a travel book about Seoul, South Korea. Co-Authored with my wife, Dr. Anna Lint, 8 Eyes on Korea, A Travel Perspective of Seoul, Korea, shares multiple perspectives of Korea from both Americans and Koreans.
I first visited Korea as a soldier. It was a short term, one year, unaccompanied assignment, but it made a great impression on me. I lived in Korea for seven years. My wife was born and raised in Korea.
We are both authors and we have different perspectives from living and serving in Korea. One traveled with multiple tours of duty from 1987 to 2015 (2 military active duty tours plus 5 years of civilian service). The other is a native of Korea who earned a Ph.D. in the United States. We are both currently professors in the U.S.
The book is written after our last visit in October 2015. That trip was the first time I paid for travel to Korea; Uncle Sam always footed the bill in the past. Between the two of us, we have 47 trips going between the U.S. and Korea. It is hard not to learn from that much travel. This has broadened our minds and experience.
The dynamics of being a soldier and civilian in Korea for seven years scattered over a 28-year period is something unique that we bring to this story. Life is seen differently from the where you are standing. My wife, growing up and living in Korea for 40 years, sees Korea differently than I do. These are some of the dynamics we bring to sharing a view of Korea that may be different.
Korea is truly an amazing story of going from no two-story buildings in Seoul in 1953 due to war, to a city of few buildings that are not high-rise skyscrapers in the capital city of Seoul in 2015. Seoul is a city of more than 11 million people; by contrast, New York City is a small town of 7 million people. According to the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs, as of July 2015, the total population of Korea is 51,448,183, ranking 26 globally by country.
My experiences in the country include having surgery, driving, finding places to live, and experiencing Korean hospitality. These experiences and more helped me to write a travel book that offers deeper understandings than the typical travel book.
There are three major time periods observed during US-Korean foreign relations. The Korean War 1950–53, Armistice pre-1988 Seoul Olympics, and post Olympics Armistice, after the 1988 Olympics. Just as in Germany after World War II, a country broken by war takes time to grow.
Korea’s path of rebuilding and growing is truly an amazing story and I am glad to be able to offer this book to share insights to anyone who is interested in traveling there and learning more about the country.
About the Author: James Lint recently retired as the civilian director for intelligence and security, G2, U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command. He is an adjunct professor at AMU. Additionally, he started the Lint Center for National Security Studies, a nonprofit charity that recently awarded the 38th scholarship for national security students and professionals. He has 38 years of experience in military intelligence within the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, contractor, and civil service. He was elected as the 2015 national vice president for the Military Intelligence Corps Association. He has served in the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis and at the Department of Energy S&S Security Office. He started his active military career in the Marine Corps for seven years and also served 14 years in the Army. His military assignments include South Korea, Germany, and Cuba in addition to numerous CONUS locations. He has authored a book published in 2013, Leadership and Management Lessons Learned and a new book 8 Eyes on Korea, A Travel Perspective of Seoul, Korea. n 2016, he was accepted into the Military Writers Guild.