Mail from Home
"This is your AFKN American Forces Korean Network Radio
It was my privilege to write a thank you letter to David Hagen, one of our many
dedicated D.J.’s in Korea, for making life bearable not only during the entire day,
but especially while miserably walking guard duty during the weekends and
evenings. Dave responded. SP4 Martinez
Photo SP5 David Hagan, D.J., AFKN 1965
Dave Hagen’s response, in his own words:
I was in Korea and I believe I went stateside in late January of 1965.
For almost a year I did the “Mail from Home” program. It was a
program of songs (mostly Rock and Roll) dedicated to 1st Cav troopers
by wives and loved ones back in the states. Most of the letters came
directly from the states to us. The entire program was dedications and
lasted about an hour and a half on Monday through Friday evenings at
seven, I believe. Once in a while I had a Red Cross girl (Donut Dolly) in
to help read the dedications. The show was very popular and I could not
play all the requests I got. The Shirelles’ “Soldier Boy” was the most
Nice note the other day. We always wondered if anyone was listening
to us. I am glad you appreciated what we did. It makes it all worthwhile.
Our duties were a little different than yours but we were soldiers first.
Most of us were D.J.’s before being drafted or enlisting and we went
through the same basic training as everyone else. Then we spent three
months at an Army cram school called DINFOS (Defense Information
School). After graduation (about one-third didn’t) we were certified
Information or Broadcast specialists. But nothing we had done before got
us ready for what we saw in Korea in the mid-60’s.
Our radio station was a compound of just five U.S. soldiers with an E-5
as the “station commander.” One was an engineer and kept the station
running with the help of a Korean National engineer. The other four of us
each worked a six-hour “board” shift seven days a week. Most of the time
I worked the six p.m. shift as PFC Dave Hagen. I vividly remember the
Johnny Carson “Tonight” Show condensed to half an hour for radio
play. During the off time we spent a few hours preparing our next show.
The rest of the time was spent drinking and playing cards, mostly
pinochle. I am sending a picture of me working the controls of the
SP5 (Ret) Dave Hagen,