TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Imagine being halfway around the world, waiting to hear if you'll have to come back and fight in a war.
It sounds make-believe, but for one Wabash Valley man, that scenario is his own reality.
"Of course I'm nervous because my family is in my country and my friends are also in my country," said Jong Koo Lee.
Every day, Jong Lee looks to the news to find out what is happening at home in South Korea.
While talk of nuclear war seems scary to anyone, for Lee, it's something he grew up with.
"I have lived in my country for 30 years with some dangerous situation," said Lee.
Now a student at Indiana State University, lee thinks constantly about the dangers facing his homeland and himself.
He's able to communicate with his parents using the internet every few days.
They tell him not to worry and to concentrate on his studies. However, if you knew the commitment he has, you'd know it's not that easy.
"If the war breaks out, the government declares mobilization order to Korean men so we have to go to some designated place," said Lee.
That could send Lee from walking the sidewalks of ISU to walking the front lines in Korea.
It's something Lee is prepared for. Before to coming to America, Lee had combat training for over two years.
Now a member of the country's reserve forces, there's only one thing that could send him back to the front lines; and that's a time he hopes will never come.
Lee is in his second year of getting a doctorate degree in biology.
He says he has considered returning to South Korea following graduation, however, it all depends on the status of the conflict back home.
Lee says he is optimistic that war will never come, but he has to be prepared for anything.
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