Uncommon Distinction

By Douglas, Christina | Warrior - Citizen, Summer 2011 | Go to article overview

Uncommon Distinction


Douglas, Christina, Warrior - Citizen


honoring the 'go for broke' regiment

HONOLULU - Sixty-eight years have passed since the day when thousands of Japanese-American volunteers in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team gathered at lolani Palace before being shipped off to World War II.

On March 28, 201 1 , 35 of the same veterans stood side by side with Army Reserve Soldiers from the 9th Mission Support Command's 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment, at lolani Palace, to recreate this historic scene, nearly seven decades later.

The veterans were part of the 1 00th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd RCT. At the beginning of the war with Japan, their loyalty and credibility were questioned. Yet after the bloody battles that characterized their wartime service, these Soldiers became part of the most decorated unit in U.S. military history.

Now, 13,000 Nisei veterans are slated to receive what will likely be their final commendation: the Congressional Gold Medal. This prestigious honor is the highest possible civilian award. It will be presented to the three units (100th Inf. Bn., 442nd RCT and the Military Intelligence Service) later this year in Washington, D. C. Because many of the aging veterans will not be able to attend, a Hawaii celebration will be held Dec. 17, 2011.

"We want to honor the veterans... with our Family, friends, and the community," said retired Maj. Gen. Robert G.F. Lee, a Hawaii member of the Congressional Gold Medal committee and the former Hawaii Adjutant General. "The veterans came home and lived their lives with the same dignity and dedication they showed in battle. Our community has been inspired by their support."

Lee said that the unit's "Go for Broke" spirit still lives on in today's ranks. "The Soldiers serving today are absolutely proud to be a part of the history and tradition of the 1 00th/ 442nd. [To the veterans] You can be sure that your legacy remains in the U. …

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