Jenkins by Other Names

The Reluctant Communist: My Desertion, Court-Martial, and Forty-Year Imprisonment in North Korea, by Charles Robert Jenkins with Jim Frederick (U. California Press, 2008), p. 173:

[My defense attorney] introduced himself, and we made a little small talk. He asked me what he should call me. I told him something we used to say ages ago in the army: “You can call me anything you want, as long as you call me three times a day for chow and once a month to get paid.” So with that, he started calling me Charlie. I had never been called Charlie before in my life. Growing up, I was always Robert. When I was a teenager, I was Super. In the army, I was Jenkins. In North Korea, the three other Americans took to calling me C. R., while the Koreans sometimes called me Min Hyung-chan. (They gave me this name when I started acting—they needed something to put on the credits—but in person, I refused to answer to it.) So, although I have gone by many names in my life, Charlie was a new one. But now, thanks to Capt. Culp, a lot of people, especially everyone I now know in the U.S. Army stationed in Japan, refer to me as “Charlie.”

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Filed under Korea, language, military, U.S.

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