wonderful update: http://www.estripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=37448&archive=true at least it's been reconsidered. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- original article: http://www.tgdaily.com/2006/07/07/southkorea_blocksvoip_usbases/ American VOIP companies are being banned on American military bases in S. Korea. I'm not surprised after reading about this. Having been stationed in Korea 4 times, it doesn't surprise me. Korea can be a nice country with wonderful people. It has very many beautiful and interesting things, but one trait I did not like was their tendancy (at times) to be very greedy and money-grubbing. I hope never to get stationed there again, especially after reading this. One of the few things that keep GIs sane when far from home and separated from their loved ones is being able to phone them (especially cheaply). I've seen a lot of young troops go into debt over phone bills because it is their first tour overseas and they have never been separated from their families. As a former platoon sergeant I take pride in trying to take care of younger, inexperienced troops. I know what it's like when you can't talk to mamma or the missus, or your kids. It sucks, royally. Pay phones and phone cards are often complicated, expensive, or inconvienient to use overseas in a foreign country. VOIP was one technology that helped solve all these problems. One of the benefits of VOIP is being able to make cheap and unlimited phone calls. Military bases are little bastions of America overseas- there should be some allowances for military. Most tours of military duty in Korea are one year or longer in length. It is a very hard tour. There is a lot of cultural shock for American troops, and a lot of lonliness as these tours are tough, hard, and unaccompanied (without family members). Koreans can do whatever they want off the bases. I understand it is their country, but if they can't make a small concession like that for people who are willing to defend their country against tyranny, then maybe we no longer need to be there. After all - they have had 50 years to take control of their own defense entirely and have decided that they still need our help. Korea is now the 12th largest economy in the world. (A large part of it is due to the sacrifices American and other international /UN troops gave and CONTINUE to give to them). Many gave the ultimate sacrifice- their lives. Apparently greed and ungratefulness has gotten the better of them. Perhaps it is time to leave. (Sorry I had to vent....but this really perturbed me as I have been in that country many times and suffered a lot there.) I am in no way slamming Korean people. Some of the best people I ever met were Korean. I still communicate with many of my Korean friends that I met there. I am merely slamming greediness that I found very common over there. In no way do I wish to offend anyone. So please do not misunderstand me. I am merely discussing their very selfish decision to ban VOIP services to American troops because of money.