To honor Armed Forces Day, Jihoon Lee released a YouTube video about his brief and dramatic stint as an artillerist in the South Korean military.
Jihoon Lee is an offbeat 90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way fan-favorite who commemorated Armed Forces Day in South Korea with a YouTube video. This day honors the service of the men and women in the Republic of Korea Armed Forces.
Jihoon Lee first appeared with then-wife Deavan Clegg on 90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way season one, and has been criticized for his childlike behavior. Despite the fact that the couple got married and unexpectedly had a son Taeyang together, their relationship quickly went awry. After their marriage, Clegg left for the U.S., to give Lee time to save money and secure an apartment for his young family. Mired in serious debt and barely scraping by selling “lost” cellphones, Jihoon failed to deliver on his promises to Deavan. According to Jihoon, after Clegg visited him in South Korea and left for the U.S. a second time, she called him and said, “she would kill her self [sic] if I didn’t let her leave for America with my son.” Since then, Clegg and Lee have been separated, and he has been unable to see his son.
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Despite the emotional hardships that Lee has been facing since his family fell apart, he’s still finding ways to remain in the public eye, and giving supporters and haters more insights into his personal life. On October 1, he released a video titled Jihoon, Become a Soldier (via his own M.A.C Jihoon YouTube channel), where he discusses his turbulent career in the South Korean military. According to the video, he served in the military from February 2010 until December 2011 and was an artillerist in charge of operating K55 155mm self-propelled howitzers. Those advanced, tank-like guns are outfitted with digital ballistic computers and target acquisition systems. He also says that while he earned a meager $50-$70 per month, it didn’t matter because he was “proud to serve his country.” Fans who have pointed out his naive sensibilities may be surprised to discover that he took on such a serious and dedicated role, especially as the 90 Day Fiancé star struggled to hold down a mundane delivery job. See the video below:
“The most difficult thing was it felt I lost my freedom,” he says in the video. “It feels that you are in a prison.” He also discusses a tragic encounter with North Korean forces. A month into his service, the North Korean military sank a navy ship, killing 47 South Korean soldiers. He also recalls The Bombardment of Yeonpyeong, when North Korea fired 170 artillery shells and rockets at Yeonpyeong Island, which killed four South Koreans and injured 19. “I thought the war was going to happen,” he said in the video. If confronted with war, he said, he would return to the military and defend his country.
Aside from being scapegoated by Clegg, Lee has also been mistreated in the military. “I almost went to military jails,” he said. Apparently, he had been accused of stealing blank ammo and this led to a full-blown investigation. While he was proven innocent, it caused him serious distress. “Once it appeared that I was not the suspect, I started crying my eyes out,” he said. While Lee has been chided by military commanders, ex-wives, and unrelenting fans, it’s clear that he’s a multifaceted person with emotional depth. It’s very possible that fans are only starting to see glimpses of the “softhearted” man Jihoon Lee truly is.
Next: 90 Day Fiancé: What Was Deavan’s Job Before Moving to Korea?
Sources: Jihoon Lee/YouTube
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