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Pyeongtaek City mayor awards Col. Gonzales honorary citizenship

Col. John Gonzales, 51st Fighter Wing commander, was awarded honorary Korean citizenship by Jang Seon Jung, Pyeongtaek mayor, as part of a ceremony on May 25, 2021.

Jang Seon Jung, Pyeongtaek mayor, left, awards Col. John Gonzales, 51st Fighter Wing commander, with honorary Pyeongtaek citizenship and flower bouquet at Pyeongtaek City, Republic of Korea, May 25, 2021. This ceremony commemorated the ongoing partnership between Osan Air Base and the city of Pyeongtaek. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Lorance)

Col. John Gonzales, 51st Fighter Wing commander, was awarded honorary Korean citizenship by Jang Seon Jung, Pyeongtaek mayor, as part of a ceremony on May 25, 2021.

Col. John Gonzales, 51st Fighter Wing commander, right, presents Jang Seon Jung, Pyeongtaek mayor, with a token of appreciation at Pyeongtaek City, Republic of Korea, May 25, 2021. Osan Air Base and the city of Pyeongtaek have worked together to overcome many challenges during the past year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Lorance)

Col. John Gonzales, 51st Fighter Wing commander, was awarded honorary Korean citizenship by Jang Seon Jung, Pyeongtaek mayor, as part of a ceremony on May 25, 2021.

Col. John Gonzales, 51st Fighter Wing commander, middle, accepts a gift from the office of Jang Seon Jung, Pyeongtaek City mayor, at Pyeongtaek City, Republic of Korea, May 25, 2021. The ceremony included an exchange of gifts to share American and Korean culture with one another. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Lorance)

Col. John Gonzales, 51st Fighter Wing commander, was awarded honorary Korean citizenship by Jang Seon Jung, Pyeongtaek mayor, as part of a ceremony on May 25, 2021.

Col. John Gonzales, 51st Fighter Wing commander, left, talks with Jang Seon Jung, Pyeongtaek City mayor, about various challenges they have faced together at Pyeongtaek City, Republic of Korea, May 25, 2021. Osan Air Base and the city of Pyeongtaek have worked together to overcome many challenges during the past year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Lorance)

PYEONGTAEK CITY, Republic of Korea --

Col. John Gonzales, 51st Fighter Wing commander, was awarded honorary Pyeongtaek citizenship by Jang Seon Jung, Pyeongtaek mayor, as part of a ceremony on May 25, 2021.

Jung and Gonzales exchanged gifts during the ceremony to commemorate the continued cooperation between Osan Air Base and the host nation. Through these gifts, Gonzales and Jung shared their cultures with one another.

“I’m very honored by the mayor and his office,” said Gonzales. “I’ll always cherish this token of appreciation for everything we’ve accomplished together.”

Both Osan AB and Pyeongtaek experienced hardships with the COVID-19 lockdowns over the past year, but Osan AB and Pyeongtaek worked together to weather these hardships.

“Our team works very closely with the city of Pyeongtaek,” said Gonzales. “Because of that close relationship, we’re able to overcome many adversities and achieve our common interest of increasing the standard of living for everyone.”

As the meeting came to a close, Gonzales thanked Jung for accepting himself and all of team Osan as a part of their community.

“I’m excited about the opportunities the future holds for both Pyeongtaek and Osan Air Base,” Gonzales said.