BY Julie Jones | Feb 01, 2016 11:06 AM EST
Lee Seung Gi's fans showed up to wish him well when he began 21 months of mandatory military service on February 1.
According to the Korean media outlet Yonhap News, about two hundred fans from Korea, China and Japan waited for the singer-actor's arrival at the Korea Army Training Center in Nonsan South Chungcheong Province. Fans cheered Lee Seung Gi when he showed up for duty at noon. Some cried. And some held signs that said "Lee Guards Korea and We Guard Him."
Lee was so touched that he stopped to make a statement and apologized for his lack of preparation.
"I did not plan to speak to the press but thank you so much for coming here," said Lee.
Lee announced his enlistment plans on January 21 by releasing a mid-tempo ballad titled "I'm Joining the Military."
He explained that the song's release was a personal way to let his fans know he would be enlisting soon.
"I would like to thank my fans for the overwhelming love they have given me, and I promise to return as a full-fledged 'real man,'" he said.
But the song was more than a personal statement. It was also a statement of solidarity for all who serve and those they leave behind. In a statement released by his agency, Hook Enertainment, Lee said the ballad was not just about his military experience but also the experience of all Korean men who must complete military service, as well as the families and friends who wait for them. All able-bodied Korean men between the ages of 18 and 35 must serve two years of military duty.
Lee Seung Gi has been described as a Triple Threat Entertainer because he can sing, act and improvise. He debuted as a singer in 2004 with the single "Because You're My Girl." He's become a popular actor two, appearing in such dramas as "King 2 Hearts," "My Girlfriend is a Gumiho," "Brilliant Legacy," "Gu Family Book" and "You're All Surrounded."
The 29-year-old actor is also a variety show fixture. Until 2012 he was frequently seen on "1 Night 2 Days" and served as an emcee on "Strong Heart." In 2015 he appeared on "New Journey To The West."
Hurry back Lee Seung Gi!
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