This letter was posted on November 1, 2017, a day after Lee Seung Gi’s honorable discharge from the military.
Everyone, this is Lee Seung Gi who has returned to your side again^^
It’s been a really long time since I’ve greeted you from here
Did everyone get home safely yesterday~??
I worried a lot because the weather suddenly became cold
You were waiting the evening before preparing banners…
It wasn’t even your family member’s military discharge ceremony but all of you passionately congratulated me.
I give thanks to the domestic and overseas fans as well as all the citizens of Deoksang 3-ri ㅎㅎㅎㅎ
Yesterday, until I passed through the guardhouse, I thought a lot about what I should say. Due to reporters being present, I was unexpectedly very nervous so I don’t think I was able to say very much.
That’s why on November 1st, I am writing as a complete civilian and reserve sergeant Lee Seung Gi.
When I first entered Nonsan training center, like yesterday, many of you came to see me off. It is vivid in my memory.
Surprisingly, the army that I entered calmly and cooly was tougher than I thought ㅎ
On the first day together with my colleagues who entered with me (of course their average age difference with me was around 10 years), I think I numbly stared at the red night light for about 2 hours while lying in a row.
Mind training. Close-order drill. Shooting. Individual combat, etc. To a soldier in training who took in training one by one and by the time one adjusted, the greatest concern was one’s unit assignment. Which region would I go to and to which assignment would I fulfill my duty as a soldier.
Everyone serving prayed to their respective gods that luck would follow them so that they would serve near their homes.
With that anticipation, the completion ceremony was approaching and the place I was assigned to was none other than the ‘Special Warfare Command’ also known as the special forces.
Back then, it was the first time I heard about the special forces and I had no idea what kind of task the unit carried out so I wasn’t taken aback very much.
To become a member of that unit, one must complete airborne training in addition to training I had never heard of in training camp. As I got to know that it was an extremely hard core unit hidden in a veil, I asked if there was any way for me to be reassigned to a different unit because I didn’t think I would be able to do it due to my fear of heights.
However, in the army, one cannot raise an objection to a superior’s command. In addition, since there was no reason for personnel fairly deployed through the computer system to change, I was filled only with fear and ended up serving in the assigned 13th airborne special forces brigade.
However, a person cannot guess the future.
Through military life and training, I overcame my fear and surpassing that, in an instant I saw myself excited about intensive training. It became a wake-up call for me to look back on my life up to this point.
I learned through my body and mind that what was more important was not
where something was done but rather with who
what was being done was not as important as how it was being done
I think Lee Seung Gi in his 20s was clear about what he could and could not do
When things became difficult, he had to rest along the way. If he was worn out, he had to catch his breath..
What special forces soldier Lee Seung Gi in his 30s felt during his military service was
the point in his 20’s when he faced difficulty and was worn out, wasn’t I a bit too lenient on myself.. I came to think that it would be alright to go a bit further and rest.
When doing the long distance march, using a fixed time as one’s goal and resting along the way is one method.
However, I use distance as my goal and even though it may be difficult, until I finish that distance, I will not rest.
Of course, while doing the night march there is the fear of falling due to the rough terrain,
Knee pain, thighs that felt like they were going to have a cramp and were undergoing acupuncture with hundreds of needles.
Reddened combat uniform trousers, enduring it for the sake of merit, feeling as if my shoulders were going to break and although I debated over whether it was alright to overdo it like this,
In the end, I reached the finishing point and thought if one is not going to rest from the start, resting more midway doesn’t recover stamina.
Everyday, I had blisters on my feet so I had a threaded needle and poked the soles of my feet countless times and walked, repeating this over and over again.
Even though I fell asleep thinking, “Tomorrow I will never be able to walk”
After sleeping for about 4 hours, I again assembled my combat gear together and caught my breath. When I had finished, I pondered:
For exactly what did I do that for? How was I able to do it?
The conclusion I made was that it was possible because I really wanted to do it along with comrades who did it together.
Something that is impossible if done alone was made possible due to my earnest heart along with
people cheering me on by my side.
With my impending military discharge, many people talked to me.
After your discharge, get a good rest, recharge yourself, and start work.
Although it is certainly relatable, because I am already filled with energy
I want to use this healthy energy for work that I do well.
I know that even among fan members, there are some who are worried.
However, the work that I do from now
is what I want to do and I have decided to do what I can do the best in priority order.
Of course, the results of that conviction can also be disappointing.
Also, every moment that happens, the people who are together with me could be celebrities I work with, colleagues, or staff.
However, I think that they can also be my family, my family at my agency, friends, and fans.
I think about how happy I would be if these people were together with me cheering me on so that I could work on what I want to do.
I don’t even have any talent in writing but I think it needlessly became long ㅎㅎㅎ
Personally, before the year ends, I hope that my wish to greet you through television comes true.
Until the moment I make my comeback on TV, everyone diligently work on building your stamina ~^^ㅎ
I will prove to you that I wasn’t lying when I said I would make you sick and tired of seeing meㅎㅎㅎ
To all the fans who waited for me, once again I give you my heartfelt appreciation and wish all of you happiness.
I love you
Korean to English translation by Elise Min, Lee Seung Gi Forever