Gates Approves of 3-Year Tours for U.S. Troops in South Korea - NYTimes.com -- This is a really intelligent idea, extending the tour of duty in South Korea and allowing dependents, so long as we're committed to having a military presence there. I spent a bit more than a year in South Korea, back in the early '70s, and would have gladly spent more time, especially if I didn't have to deal with being lonely and missing being "back in the world," as we used to say. The population were congenial and seemed generally to appreciate us; we have much to learn from them, and much to share. For military families, this will be a marvelous opportunity.