Asian American Veterans Association
Go For Broke (www.goforbroke.org):
World War II Japanese American veterans
Japanese American Veterans Association (www.javadc.org)
Air Force News Service: "Hazel Ying Lee: Showcased Asian-American involvement in war effort"
by Martha Lockwood
Fort Meade, Md. (AFNS) -- The Asian and Pacific island influence for the Air Force began during the
early days of World War II when Chinese-American women were recruited to serve in the "Air WACs,"
a special unit within the Army Air Corps where Asian-American women served in jobs that ranged from
aerial photo interpretation, to air traffic control and weather forecasting.
The Women in Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) worked directly with the Army Air Forces during
World War II, ferrying planes from factories to air bases, testing planes, and towing targets for aerial
gunnery students to practice shooting. They also conducted qualifying flights for military pilots to renew
their instrument ratings and copiloted B-17 Flying Fortress bombers through mock dogfights staged
to train bomber gunners.
Hazel Ying Lee, the first Chinese-American woman aviator, was also the first Chinese-American
woman to fly for the United States military. She joined the Women Airforce Service Pilots and was
trained to ferry aircraft. She delivered transport aircraft, but she also flew more powerful fighters, such
as the P-63 Kingcobra, to their destinations. Hazel and her husband were the embodiment of the
relationship that the United States shared with our allies, especially during World War II. He was an
officer in the Chinese Air Force.
Whether it was an homage to her Asian ancestry, or simply a practice that gave her comfort, Hazel
"named" each plane prior to its delivery flight by inscribing Chinese characters in lipstick on the tails
of the planes.
It was during one of these ferrying details that Lee, described by her fellow pilots as "calm and
fearless," had the first of two forced landings. It took place in a Kansas wheat field. A farmer, pitchfork
in hand, chased her around the plane while shouting to his neighbors that the Japanese had invaded
Kansas. (Hazel was Chinese.) Alternately running and ducking under her wing, Lee finally stood her
ground. She told the farmer who she was, and demanded that he put down the pitchfork. He complied.
Sadly, she was killed in the line of duty ferrying the P-63, the last WASP to die in service to her
country. She was killed when her plane and that of a colleague received identical instructions from an
air traffic controller on their approach to Great Falls AFB, Montana.
There's an Asian saying, "No strength within; no respect without." It's that inner strength that defines
the women of the Air Force.
Asian Fortune News: "Japanese American Veterans Honored"
New Orleans, LA—To spread the story of Japanese-American veterans, the Congressional
Gold Medal that was collectively given to Japanese Americans who served in World War II is
on a yearlong tour, starting Jan. 11 at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.
Irene Hirano Inouye, widow of the late Sen. Daniel Inouye, attended the opening ceremony.
The Smithsonian Institution organized the tour in partnership with the National Veterans
Network, a coalition of Japanese American civic organizations. The medal will travel to
seven cities until it comes back to Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
12/20/12 press release: "As Last of Eight Anti-Asian Military Hazing Trials Conclude, Asian
American Civil Rights Groups Continue to Seek Reforms,"
Washington, DC. – This week brought to a close the last of eight courts-martial of soldiers
charged in connection with the death of Army Private Danny Chen, a 19-year-old Chinese
American from Manhattan, who died in Afghanistan in October 2011 of non-combat injuries
following weeks of bullying and abuse by superiors in his unit. OCA, a national organization
dedicated to advancing the political, social and economic well-being of Asian Pacific
Americans, and the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), a member of the Asian
American Center for Advancing Justice continue to seek policy reforms that would
strengthen and protect all service members from such abuse.
On Monday, the prosecution in the case against First Lieutenant Daniel
Pvt. Chen’s platoon leader—accepted the defense’s request for non-judicial punishment.
Such a deal avoids trial and results in the formal charges related to Chen’s hazing and
maltreatment being withdrawn. Schwartz will now be separated from the Army through an
“There have been too many cases of military hazing, and we must have reforms that
protect those vulnerable to hazing in our armed forces,” said Mee Moua, president and
executive director of AAJC. “Policy makers must act on the lessons learned from these
tragedies to implement policies that are strong, comprehensive, and that send a clear
message that harassment and abuse of service members will be met with serious
Schwartz’s punishment follows seven courts-martial of other members of the unit that
included convictions of maltreatment, hazing, dereliction of duty and assault. Punishments
ranged from demotions in rank, forfeited pay, restricted hard labor and short jail sentences
(up to six months). Only one soldier received a discharge for bad conduct.
“Such punishments are too light and reflect a significant void in our military justice system,”
said Tom Hayashi, executive director of OCA. “New legislative regulations on hazing can
help ensure the safety of all men and women in uniform.”
U.S. House and Senate conference committee members will soon send a reconciled
version of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), an annual defense budget
bill, to the full Congress that contains provisions that address the prevalence of hazing and
the need for prevention policies through the requirement of a military report to Congress
and anonymous reporting.
Reuters: "U.S. Army soldier faces discharge after Asian-American soldier's hazing,"
By Colleen Jenkins
(Reuters) - The leader of a platoon whose members were accused of hazing an Asian-American soldier
who killed himself in Afghanistan has been punished and will be discharged from the U.S. Army, officials
said on Monday.
First Lieutenant Daniel Schwartz was the highest ranking of eight soldiers charged in connection with
19-year-old Private Danny Chen's suicide and the last to have his case resolved.
Chen, the only Chinese-American in his unit, fatally shot himself in a guard tower in southern Afghanistan
in October 2011 after enduring weeks of disparaging taunts and physical mistreatment from his superiors,
military prosecutors said.
Members of the platoon were accused of calling him racially derogatory names such as "gook," "slants"
and "egg roll." Prosecutors said they threw rocks at him, dragged him across gravel and tied sandbags to
his arms at the remote combat outpost where Chen began his first deployment in August 2011.
His death prompted activists to call for more protections against abuse for Asian-American service
members, who make up 4 percent of the active-duty U.S. military.
Schwartz, who faced dereliction of duty charges, was punished through an Article 15 administrative
proceeding that was not open to the public, officials at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, said on Monday.
Details of his punishment were not released. As part of the disposition, the charges against him were
withdrawn, officials said.
He will leave the Army, though a decision has not yet been made about whether his discharge will be
honorable or dishonorable, said Fort Bragg spokesman Ben Abel.
Other soldiers accused in the case received an array of punishments after being found guilty earlier
this year on charges such as maltreatment, assault, hazing and dereliction of duty.
The most jail time
received was six months.
Sentences included reduced ranks, forfeited pay, hard labor and short jail sentences. Only one soldier
was discharged for bad conduct, a point of frustration for Chen's parents and supporters.
Danny Chen was the only child of Chinese immigrants who live in New York City.
11/28/12 press release: "Asian American Groups Extremely Disappointed Following Light Sentencing
in Military Hazing Case,"
Washington, D.C. – The Organization of Chinese-Americans (OCA), a national organization dedicated
to advancing the political, social, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs), and the
Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), a member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice,
are extremely disappointed with the recent verdict and sentencing in the court-martial of U.S. Army Staff
Sgt. Andrew Van Bockel, who faced charges related to his mistreatment of Pvt. Danny Chen. Chen,
a 19-year-old Chinese American from Manhattan, died in Afghanistan in October 2011 of non-combat
injuries following weeks of bullying and abuse by superiors in his unit.
Last week a military jury found Van Bockel guilty of hazing, three charges of dereliction of duty and
two charges of maltreatment. Despite the potential maximum punishment of four years and nine months
in prison and a dishonorable discharge, Van Bockel was only sentenced to a reprimand, a demotion
in two ranks to Specialist and 60 days of hard labor—45 already credited—with no jail time, and can
continue serving in the Army.
“Our community is truly shocked and saddened by the lack of accountability that has emerged from
this trial,” said Tom Hayashi, executive director of OCA. “The gross negligence of Staff Sgt. Van
Bockel was simply unacceptable and the sentencing is a disgrace to our military’s values. This trial is
a strong indication that we must push for stronger reforms in our advocacy efforts.”
Van Bockel, considered the ‘ring leader’ of the inappropriate behavior, failed to prevent harassment
and abuse from Chen’s other superiors. These actions included racial slurs, rock throwing, kicking,
and dragging him along rocks. Van Bockel taunted Chen with racial slurs such as, “Dragon Lady” and
“Fortune Cookie” and ordered him to shout orders in Chinese to his own English-speaking platoon for
no other reason than humiliation.
“The tragic mistreatment of Pvt. Chen merits much more severe consequences than the ones that
have thus far been handed down to Staff Sgt. Van Bockel and others in their unit,” said Mee Moua,
president and executive director of AAJC. “These sentences fail to deter the kind of treatment that
cost Danny his life and send a weak message about the level of accountability and leadership to
which soldiers at their levels will be held.”
Prior to Van Bockel’s court-martial, six other soldiers have been convicted on hazing, maltreatment
or dereliction of duty charges in connection with Chen’s death.
“These consistently light punishments are eerily similar to the outcome of the Vincent Chin case
more than 30 years ago, in which Chin’s killers served no jail time and merely received a fine,
galvanizing the Asian American civil rights movement,” continued Moua.
“We will continue to fight for what is right,” said Hayashi. “There will be justice for Pvt. Danny Chen.”
11/20/12 Fayetteville (NC) Observer: "Staff Sgt. Andrew VanBockel receives reprimand, reduction in
rank in Danny Chen suicide case"
By Drew Brooks
Staff Sgt. Andrew J. VanBockel will be demoted, reprimanded and forced to perform hard labor
for his role in the hazing of Pvt. Danny Chen.
VanBockel, 27, of Aberdeen, S.D., was sentenced Wednesday after a jury deliberated for about
an hour and a half before deciding he should be rebuked, lose two ranks and perform 60 days of
New York Daily News: "Soldier on trial in Pvt. Danny Chen case pleads
guilty, booted from Army,"
by Daniel Beekman
The second soldier to go on trial for driving New York Pvt.
Danny Chen to suicide was sentenced
Monday to six months in prison — and booted from the Army on a bad-conduct
A military judge handed down the ruling at Fort Bragg, N.C.
after Spc. Ryan Offutt pleaded guilty to
hazing and maltreatment for mocking Chen, who shot himself last year in
Offutt, 32, was accused of calling Chen "chink,"
"gook," "squint eyes," "egg roll" and
and kicking and throwing rocks at the slender Chinatown native.
New York Times: "Military Hazing Has Got to Stop,"
by Judy Chu
Last fall, at an outpost in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Danny
Chen, a 19-year-old Army private, was singled
out for hazing by Sgt. Adam Holcomb and five other soldiers, all of whom were
senior in rank to their victim.
They believed Danny was a weak soldier, someone who fell asleep on guard duty,
who forgot his helmet.
So for six weeks, they dispensed “corrective training” that violated Army
policy. When he failed to turn off
the water pump in the shower, he was dragged across a gravel yard on his back
until it bled. They threw
rocks at him to simulate artillery. They called him “dragon lady,”
“gook” and “chink.”
Finally, Danny could take it no longer. He put the barrel of
his rifle to his chin and pulled the trigger.
The pain was over.
8/2/12 press release: "Asian American Civil Rights Groups Angered by
Acquittal and Lenient
Sentence in Military Hazing Case,"
Washington, D.C. – OCA, a national organization dedicated
to advancing the political, social, and
economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs), is deeply angered and
concerned with the
acquittal and lenient sentence in the military hazing case against Sergeant Adam
M. Holcomb, one of
the eight soldiers charged in the hazing and death of Private Danny Chen.
In May 2012, OCA and the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC),
a member of the Asian
American Center for Advancing Justice, partnered together to seek justice for
Private Chen. The
current scope of work is divided between the organizations as follows:
• The OCA-New York chapter leads the grassroots advocacy
efforts related to the Danny Chen case
as well as the larger reforms that requires pressuring Congress and Department
specifically with the Army.
• OCA National Center leads on the efforts to engage with
the Department of Defense, specifically
with the Army, as well as the development of broader coalition efforts.
• AAJC seeks to develop legislative strategies to push for
On Monday, a jury acquitted Sergeant Adam M. Holcomb—one of
eight soldiers charged in the hazing
and death of Pvt. Danny Chen—of negligent homicide, reckless endangerment,
communicating a threat
and violations of a military statute that prohibits hazing. Based on the
jury’s recommendation, Sgt. Holcomb,
who was convicted of two counts of maltreatment and one count of assault
consummated by battery, may
only receive a sentence of 30 days in prison, reduction of one rank, to
specialist, and a fine of $1,181.55.
Mee Moua, President and Executive Director of the Asian American Justice Center,
a member of the
Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, Tom Hayashi, Executive Director of
OCA, and Elizabeth
OuYang, OCA-NY President, issued the following statement.
“The verdict and sentencing recommendation in this case fly
in the face of civil and human rights. It is
absolutely appalling that following a campaign of humiliation due to anti-Asian
bias by Sgt. Holcomb and
others that led to Pvt. Chen’s death last October, the jury would not only
acquit Sgt. Holcomb of these
serious charges, but recommend such a lenient sentence for his actions against
Pvt. Chen. And it is
quite disturbing that despite his conviction for maltreatment and assault, Sgt.
Holcomb will be able
to continue to serve honorably in the military, an honor he does not deserve.
Today’s verdict is reminiscent of the Vincent Chin case
more than 30 years ago, in which his killers
served no jail time and merely received a fine for taking Chin’s life. There
was no justice for Chin and today
there was no justice for Pvt. Chen, Lance Cpl. Harry Lew or the many other
victims of military hazing.
The slap on the wrist for Sgt. Holcomb clearly demonstrates that these types of
actions are acceptable
in the military culture. As long as there is no clear definition of hazing that
is punishable under military
regulations, there will be future miscarriages of justice for victims like Pvt.
As a nation, we must come together and demand that Congress
and all branches of the military adopt
stronger policies to deter and address all forms of hazing, harassment and abuse
in our military. There
must be a zero-tolerance policy.
• A clear definition of “hazing” that is punishable
under military regulations.
• Stronger accountability up and down the chain of command.
• Stiffer punishment for failure to report harassment and
• Protections for victims and whistle blowers of harassment
• Mandatory diversity training and inclusion practices to
promote more diversity within leadership positions.
• A comprehensive record-keeping system on reports of
harassment and abuse.
Six more trials and one more sentencing remain. We fully
expect appropriate punishment that reflects
that Pvt. Chen’s life was not in vain. We will continue to fight for justice
and work to ensure protection for
our military members.”
# # #
The Asian American Justice Center (www.advancingequality.org),
a member of Asian American Center
for Advancing Justice, works closely with its affiliate organizations - the
Asian American Institute in Chicago
(www.aaichicago.org), the Asian Law Caucus (www.asianlawcaucus.org) in San
Francisco and the Asian
Pacific American Legal Center (www.apalc.org) in Los Angeles - to promote a fair
and equitable society
for all by working for civil and human rights and empowering Asian Americans and
Pacific Islanders and
other underserved communities.
OCA is a national organization dedicated to advancing the
political, social and economic well-being of
Asian Pacific Americans (APAs).
"Happy Independence Day: A Story About Becoming An American,"
by Ken White
One hot summer in the early nineties, I was working as a summer extern for Judge Ronald S.W. Lew,
a federal judge in Los Angeles. On a late morning in early July he abruptly walked into my office and
said without preamble “Get your coat.” Somewhat concerned that I was about to be shown the door,
I grabbed my blazer and followed him out of chambers into the hallway. I saw he had already
assembled his two law clerks and his other summer extern there. Exchanging puzzled glances, we
followed him into the art-deco judge’s elevator in the old federal courthouse, then into the cavernous
judicial parking garage. He piled us into his spotless Cadillac and drove out of the garage without
Within ten awkward, quiet minutes we arrived at one of the largest VFW posts in Los Angeles.
Great throngs of people, dressed in Sunday best, were filing into the building. It was clear that they
were families — babes in arms, small children running about, young and middle-aged parents.
And in each family group there was a man — an elderly man, dressed in a military uniform, many
stooped with age but all with the bearing of men who belonged in that VFW hall. They were all, I would
learn later, Filipinos. Their children and grandchildren were Filipino-American; they were not. Yet.
Judge Lew — the first Chinese-American district court judge in the continental United States —
pulled his robe from the trunk and walked briskly into the VFW hall with his externs and clerks trailing
behind him. We paused in the foyer as he introduced us to some of the VFW officers, who greeted
him warmly. He donned his robe and peered through a window in a door to see hundreds of people
sitting in the main hall, talking excitedly, the children waving small American flags and streamers about.
One of the VFW officers whispered in his ear, and he nodded and said “I’ll see them first.” The clerks
and my fellow extern were chatting to some INS officials. The judge beckoned me, and I followed him
through a doorway to a small anteroom.
There, in a dark and baroque room, we found eight elderly men. They were too infirm to stand.
Three were on stretchers, several were in wheelchairs, two had oxygen tanks. One had an empty
sleeve where his right arm had been. A few relatives, beaming, stood near each man. One by one,
Judge Lew administered the naturalization oath to them — closely, sometimes touching their hands,
speaking loudly so they could hear him, like a priest administering extreme unction. They smiled,
grasped his hand, spoke the oath as loudly as they could with evident pride. Some wept. I may have
as well. One said, not with anger but with the tone of a dream finally realized, “We’ve waited so long
And oh, how they had waited. These men, born Filipinos, answered America’s call in World War II
and fought for us. President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked the men of the Philippines to fight, promising
them United States citizenship and veterans benefits in return. 200,000 fought. Tens of thousands
died. They weathered the brutal conditions under Japanese occupation, fought a valiant guerrilla war,
and in some cases survived the Bataan death march.
In 1946, Congress reneged on FDR’s promise. Filipino solders who fought for us and their families
were not given their promised citizenship, let alone benefits. Many came here anyway, had children
who were born U.S. citizens, and some even became citizens through the process available to any
immigrant. But many others, remembering the promise, asked that it be kept. And they waited.
They waited 54 years, until after most of them were gone. It was not until 1990 that Congress finally
addressed this particular stain on our honor and granted them citizenship. (They never received their
promised benefits, and never will. Some received lump sum payments of up to $15,000 in 2009 under
the unpopular stimulus bill, some 68 years after more complete benefits were promised. Most of the
happy men I saw that day 20 years ago are dead.)
Hence this July naturalization ceremony. After Judge Lew naturalized the veterans who were too
weak to stand in the main ceremony, he quickly took the stage in the main room. A frantic, joyous hush
descended, and the dozens of veterans stood up and took the oath. Many wept. I kept getting
something in my goddamn eye. And when Judge Lew declared them citizens, the families whooped
and hugged their fathers and grandfathers and the children waved the little flags like maniacs.
I had the opportunity to congratulate a number of families and hear them greet Judge Lew. I heard
expressions of great satisfaction. I heard more comments about how long they had waited. But I did
not hear bitterness on this day. These men and their children had good cause to be bitter, and perhaps
on other days they indulged in it. On this day they were proud to be Americans at last. Without
forgetting the wrongs that had been done to them, they believed in an America that was more than the
sum of its wrongs. Without forgetting 54 years of injustice, they believed in an America that had the
potential to transcend its injustices. I don’t know if these men forgave the Congress that betrayed
them and dishonored their service in 1946, or the subsequent Congresses and administrations too
weak or indifferent to remedy that wrong. I don’t think that I could expect them to do so. But whether or
not they forgave the sins of America, they loved the sinner, and were obviously very proud to become
I am tremendously grateful to Judge Lew for taking me to that ceremony, and count myself privileged
to have seen it. I think about it every Fourth of July, and more often than that. It reminds me that people
have experienced far greater injustice than I ever will at this country’s hands, and yet are proud of it
and determined to be part of it. They are moved by what Lincoln called the better angels of our nature
to believe in the shared idea of what America should be without abandoning the struggle to right its
wrongs. I want to be one of them.
New York Times: "Any Trial in Soldier’s Death Would Be at Fort
By Kirk Semple
Trials of the service members implicated in the death of Pvt.
Danny Chen, the soldier from Manhattan
who apparently killed himself last fall in Afghanistan, will be held at Fort
Bragg, in North Carolina, if senior
military officials decide courts-martial are warranted, the American military
2/21/12 Washington Post: "Asian American soldier’s suicide called a ‘wake-up call’ for the military,"
By Deepti Hajela
New York — The harassment of Danny Chen, 19, started in basic training — teasing about his name,
repeated questions of whether he was from China, even though he was a born-and-raised New Yorker.
He wrote in his journal that he was running out of jokes to respond with.
1/31/12 MSNBC: "Marine
gets 30 days in hazing case linked to suicide"
Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii — A Marine accused of hazing a
colleague who later committed suicide in
Afghanistan was sentenced Monday to 30 days in jail and a reduction in rank.
Navy Capt. Carrie Stephens, the judge in Lance Cpl. Jacob
Jacoby's special court-martial, handed
down the sentence after Jacoby pleaded guilty to assault.
1/6/12 New York Times: "An Asian-American Veteran Reflects on When Discipline Becomes Hazing,"
by Tim Hsia
The deaths of Army Private Danny Chen and Marine Lance Corporal Harry Lew have sent shock
waves through Asian-American communities. Eight U.S. Army service members have been charged
with hazing-related crimes against Private Chen, a Chinese-American soldier and, like me, the son
of Chinese immigrants.
The circumstances surrounding Private Chen’s death have raised many issues in my mind such
as the line between hazing and discipline, and the perceptions of Asian-Americans toward military
12/21/11 New York Times:
"8 Charged in Death of Fellow Soldier, U.S. Army Says,"
By Kirk Semple
Eight American soldiers were charged with manslaughter and an
array of other crimes in connection
with the death of Pvt. Danny Chen, a fellow soldier from New York whose body was
found in October
lying in a guard tower in southern Afghanistan, the United States Army said in a
11/29/11 press release: "Veteran shares life lessons, experiences from years of military service,"
"Yellow Green Beret: Stories of an Asian-American Stumbling Around U.S. Army Special Forces"
by Chester Wong relates his memories from his time in the military
Cupertino, Calif. -- In "Yellow Green Beret: Stories of an Asian-American Stumbling Around U.S. Army
Special Forces" (ISBN 146352949X), Chester Wong shares his experiences in the U.S. Army in a unique
balance of serious and lighthearted memories. Written for civilians with an interest in the Army, Wong hopes
to portray soldiers as normal human beings rather than the robotic machines that people often misjudge
them to be.
Wong recounts his memories as an Asian-American in the U.S. Army Special Forces through a series
of short stories. Some of the stories are intentionally humorous, showing the author as the butt of his jokes,
while others are more dramatic, revealing a life lesson that Wong learned or observed along the way
After spending 12 years in the Army, Wong struggled to make the transformation from military life to
civilian life. He wrote a blog about his experiences to cope with his feelings, and his family encouraged
him to keep writing, which inspired this record of war stories and actually aided him in moving forward.
"I hope that these stories are not only entertaining but also provide color and personality to a Special
Forces operator, and illustrate him as a human being more than just some kind of professionally trained
killer," Wong says.
Wong believes his book will also shed a unique light on military service from the perspective of an
Asian-American. He hopes that "Yellow Green Beret" helps readers look at military personnel differently,
while providing them with lighthearted yet important life lessons along the way.
"Yellow Green Beret: Stories of an Asian American Stumbling Around U.S. Army Special Forces" is
available for sale online at Amazon.com and other channels.
About the Author: After growing up in Northern California, Chester Wong attended the United States
Military Academy at West Point, and served in the United States Army for more than eight years as an
Armor and Special Forces officer. He served and was deployed in four combat tours to Iraq and the
Philippines, and received several medals for his accomplishments.
9/9/11 press release: Senator Inouye Introduces Legislation To Fund National
September 11 Memorial and Museum at Ground Zero
Washington: Senator Daniel K. Inouye introduced legislation today to provide federal funds
for the operation and maintenance of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at
The legislation allows the United States, through the Secretary of the Interior, to take ownership
of the lands, the Memorial and the Museum, after the appropriate approvals are secured from the
Governor of the State of New York, the Governor of the State of New Jersey, and the Mayor of
New York City.
The Department of the Interior will enter into a cooperative agreement with the Board of the
non-profit National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center, Inc., which
may provide technical and financial assistance to the Memorial and Museum relating to its
operations and maintenance.
The legislation would authorize appropriations of $20 million in FY 2013, the first full fiscal year
after which the Museum is scheduled to open to the public, and in subsequent years.
All funds appropriated must be matched by non-Federal sources, such as admission fees,
gifts and fundraising, with the resulting Federal share being about 33% or less of the overall
budget of the Memorial and Museum.
“I thank Senator Inouye for his support of the memorial and his leadership on this issue. Millions
of people from across the country and around the world will come to visit the memorial. It is truly
a national monument in New York and I appreciate the Senator’s work to bring federal support
to help ensure all who want to come and visit the memorial can for generations to come,” said
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“The 9/11 Memorial is for our city, the nation, and the world. Senator Inouye’s legislation is an
important part of securing the legacy of 9/11. We hope that Congress will come together in the
same spirit of unity that we saw in the aftermath of the attacks to support the Memorial. This tribute
ensures that future generations will understand the enormous loss suffered, the sacrifices made,
and the resilience that defined our nation’s response to the attacks,” said New York City Mayor
Michael R. Bloomberg, Chair of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum
“We are grateful to Senator Inouye for his leadership in supporting one of our nation’s most
sacred sites – the National September 11 Memorial. With the support of Congress, we as a
country can fulfill our obligation to never forget and to preserve the history of 9/11 and our country’s
response in the aftermath,” said Joe Daniels, President and CEO of the National September 11
Memorial & Museum.
9/12/11 New York Daily News:
"Chinese immigrant Vietnam War vet Fang Wong becomes head of
American Legion veterans association,"
BY Daniel Beekman
When Fang Wong left Hong Kong as a kid to live and toil in a
Harlem Laundromat 50 years ago, he
never dreamed he'd become the most important veterans' advocate in the United States.
But on Sept. 1, the Chinese immigrant was elected National
Commander of the American Legion,
a mutual aid organization 2.4 million-vets strong.
"I feel humble and honored," said Wong, 63, a
gray-haired Vietnam vet with an easy smile. "I really
don't feel different. I'm still me - I want to do my utmost to help however I
8/30/11 ourchinatown.org: "Since 1940s, Chinese-American Veterans Supports Their Own and
by Shirley Lew
Gabe Mui, Adjutant of the Lt. B.R. Kimlau Chinese Memorial Post 1291, The American Legion in
Chinatown is in his office when we met. As an adjutant, Mui is a staff officer assisting a higher-ranking
officer in administrative affairs. His position is similar to a director, managing a local chapter under the
affairs of American Legion’s state department, which is overseen by its headquarters in Indiana.
Born in China, Mui was stationed in Germany as a transportation specialist during the Vietnam War,
though he was never in combat. His office is filled with file cabinets, books, papers and more, most likely
a collection of his predecessors.
Fang A. Wong for National Commander
4/20/11 Voice of America
"Historian Recounts Role of Chinese Americans Who Fought In US Civil War,"
by Dave DeForest
Many people would be surprised to know that there were some Asian faces in the crowds of white and
black soldiers serving in the American Civil War.
The participation of Asians, and in particular Chinese Americans, comes into focus this month as the
United States marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the war.
It began in 1861 after the election of an anti-slavery president, Abraham Lincoln. Fearing the eventual
abolition of slavery, eleven southern states bolted from the union, setting up the pro-slavery Confederate
States of America.
The rebels resisted military efforts by the North to bring them back into the union, sparking four years
of war that left more than 600,000 people dead.
Even though there were only about 200 Chinese-Americans living in the eastern United States at the
time, 58 of them fought in the Civil War. Because of their previous experiences at sea, many of them
served in the U.S. Navy.
Only one Chinese-American soldier was actually born on American soil. The rest had come to the
U.S. through the Pacific slave trade, adoption by Americans, independent immigration or the influence
8/23/11 Sacramento Bee: "Taiwan to honor Locke native for WWII heroism,"
By Stephen Magagnini
Today, 67 years after Capt. William Chow King – a Chinese American from Locke – rescued his
flight commander in China from a swarm of eight Japanese fighter planes, the Taiwanese government
will give his widow Ruby Chann two long-overdue medals.
One of the elite Flying Tigers – an all-volunteer force of U.S. flyers battling the Japanese – the
easygoing King died Jan. 1, 2002 at 86, planning to take his war secrets with him.
2/1/11 AsianWeek: "Chinese American Hero: Major Kurt Chew-Een Lee,"
By Michael Robison
Chinese American Heroes and American Legion Cathay Post 384 honors the United States Marine
Corps and their heroism at the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir, in particular that of then 1st Lieutenant
Kurt Chew-Een Lee.
Lee holds the distinction of being the first regular Marine Corps officer of Asian descent in nearly
200 years of proud Marine Corps history. He accepted the challenges and demands to prove his fitness
to hold officer rank and to lead U.S. Marines into battle. Major Lee undertook a self-imposed mission
to consciously demolish the fallacious thinking spread by Hollywood movies that the
Chinese, as a race,
are too meek, obsequious and subservient to make good soldiers. By distinguishing himself as an
effective, fearless leader in battle under the harshest of combat conditions, he opened the Marine Corps
towards accepting more racial minorities into its officer ranks.
1/13/11 Northwest Asian Weekly: "Jimmy Locke: Veteran, husband, father, and businessman,"
Jimmy Locke, born Youh K. Locke, passed away on Jan. 5 in Seattle.
Locke was born on Oct. 15, 1917, in Taishan, Guangdong Province, China. He was born into
a family of 10 children. He immigrated to Seattle at age 13 with his father and brother.
He served as staff sergeant in the Fifth Armored Division during WWII. He saw action in the
battles of Ardennes, Normandy Beach, and the Rhineland.
“I was drafted before Pearl Harbor in 1940,” Locke wrote in “Reflections of Seattle’s Chinese
Americans,” a Chinese oral history book. “When you’re drafted, you have to tell what you do.
I said I’m a cook, so they put me in the kitchen.
… We eat good, I’ll tell you that! Steak all the time.”
Tucson: Chinese-American vet, like others here, joined WWII efforts,"
by Ernesto Portillo Jr.
When Edward Chan was a University of Arizona freshman, his acceptance letter
came. The U.S. Army It
was 1942, less than a year after the United States had entered
accepted him to flight-training school.
World War II.
A number of young Tucson
men and women had gone to war or would go soon. Chan,
graduated from Tucson High School earlier that year, was one of a handful of
Chinese Americans who
went to war.
Northwest Asian Weekly: "Decades later, Flying Tigers receive a hero’s
welcome at home in Seattle,"
by Sarah Yee
At their 24th formal reunion, Wayne Wong and his friends
recollected serving as
Flying Tigers. They belonged to the 14th Air Force and the 987th Signal Company —
the only all-Chinese
American units that served the U.S. Army during World War II.
In 1945, they were received by Seattle’s Chinese American
community with a hero’s
welcome upon returning from duty. Last week, the city of Seattle welcomed them once
again during their
6/21/10 NPR: "More Asian-Americans Signing Up For The Army,"
by Lonny Shavelson
In the U.S. Army, Asian-Americans have typically volunteered
at the lowest rate of any
ethnic group. They make up 4 percent of the population, and only 1 percent of military
But that seems to be changing. Something is suddenly drawing
California into the Army at a remarkable rate. And there have been similar increases in
Asian-American population centers, like Seattle and New York.
Los Angeles Times: "A tale of Korean War heroism: U.S. Marine Chew-Een
Lee's bravery at the battle of the Chosin Reservoir is a focus of Smithsonian
by Tony Perry
When Chew-Een Lee was growing up in western Sacramento during
World War II,
he was eager to enlist in the military to fight for his country.
He joined the ROTC in high
school and enlisted in the Marine Corps as soon as he
"I wanted to dispel the notion about the Chinese being
meek and obsequious," said
Lee, whose father was a farmer and prominent
figure in the Chinese community in
huffingtonpost.com and VictoriaMoy.net: "You Must Remember This"
by Victoria Moy
Surrounded by an abundance of Cantonese-style roast meats and
lomein, as well as
the standard American Thanksgiving fare of turkey and
cranberry sauce, I stare up at
a wall lined with portraits of Chinese men in
military uniforms and squadron hats. The
room is decorated with award plaques,
photos of soldiers, and the American flag.
While Grandpa shoots the breeze with
hordes of other Chinese grandpas who wear
fedoras and speak Dick Tracy style
(like the black-and-white Hollywood movies--in old
timer's slang and accents),
Grandma chats gaily with the other wives in sing-song
Toishanese (a dialect of
Cantonese). Within that one room, there's a men's language,
and a women's
language; an "English world" and "Chinese world." I don't
grandpas speak English and grandmas speak Chinese, why there's a
along gender lines in my grandparents'
generation. This is my
life growing up in New York's Chinatown in the 1980s.
The Thanksgiving and Christmas parties my grandparents took
me to were at the
American Legion on Canal Street, which Chinese American vets
set up in Chinatown
after World War II.
Bergen County, New Jersey Record: "Fallen soldier memorialized at ceremony
in River Vale,"
by Brian Aberback
River Vale -Min Soo Choi died in Iraq trying to spread the
freedom that allowed him
and his family to come here - the same freedom that
American soldiers died for in
Choi's native Korea more than 50 years ago.
Army Pfc. Choi's sacrifice, and that of all veterans, was
honored Saturday at a
ceremony following the township's Memorial Day parade at
Veterans Memorial Park.
Los Angeles Times: "Asian Americans drive Army recruiting boom in L.A.:
Asians have traditionally joined the military at the lowest rate among all
races, but --
lured by job security, college aid and, for some, citizenship --
they are signing up in larger
numbers. Their enlistments rose 80% in L.A.
by Teresa Watanabe
a chilly Saturday morning this month, the future soldiers of the U.S. Army
and puffed through push-ups, sit-ups and stretches in Whittier Narrows
Regional Park in
South El Monte.
There was the gangly white kid with the blond buzz cut and
the buffed-out Latino dude,
head draped in a black bandanna.
And then there was Jennifer Ren, small, slight and
bespectacled, an immigrant from
China who gamely kept up with the guys and sees
the Army as a ticket to U.S. citizenship
and a job in accounting and finance.
Washington Post: "'She is the face of the new generation': At VA and among
vets, Duckworth is trying to reshape perceptions,"
By Ed O'Keefe
Five years ago this week, an insurgent shot down the Army
Black Hawk helicopter that
Tammy Duckworth was co-piloting in Iraq. Now an
assistant secretary of the Department
of Veterans Affairs, Duckworth lost her
legs in the crash and the fire that followed.
On Thursday, her Black Hawk crewmates who pulled her from the
wreckage will be in
Washington to celebrate her "alive day" -- what
some veterans call their "second birthday"
to mark their brushes with
death. She will lead them on a tour of the Capitol and the
Minneapolis Star Tribune: “The death of PFC Kham Xiong -- scheduled to deploy
to Afghanistan next month -- on U.S. soil at the hands of a Fort Hood gunman
this family's grief,”
by Curt Brown
Chor Xiong pulled a worn black wallet from his back pocket
Friday night and extracted
two photographs. One showed his 18-year-old son,
Nelson Xiong, stoic in a dress blue
military uniform. The other showed his
stern-faced oldest son, 23-year-old Kham Xiong,
in camouflage fatigues.
Chor has been worried about Nelson, who is fighting in
Afghanistan and due back in
Minnesota on Nov. 28. So when the phone rang at his
family's home on St. Paul's East Side
at 3 a.m. Friday, Chor braced himself for
bad news about Nelson.
Then, as his daughter explained to him that Kham, not Nelson,
had been among 13 people
killed in an Army psychiatrist's rampage at Fort Hood
in Texas, the father grew confused
How could his unarmed son have died on U.S. soil two months
before being deployed
to Afghanistan? And how will he find the words to explain
this to his other son, the one on
2/22/09 San Francisco Examiner: "Filipino veterans see justice in stimulus
by Katie Worth
Redwood City –
The economic stimulus package signed by President Barack
on Tuesday included a program to provide every Filipino who fought for the
War II with a lump-sum grant, in exchange for those veterans
dropping any further pursuit of
compensation or benefits.
Many of those still living have
mixed feelings about the provision passed into law in the
stimulus package. As
the law is written, Filipinos living in the
will receive a payoff of
$15,000, while veterans in the
will receive $9,000. The families of the soldiers
that have already died will
The $15,000 is just over one year’s pension for service in
the U.S. Army; and the provision
included a stipulation that those that accept
the lump sum can no longer pursue further benefits
from the government.
Associated Press: “Rumsfeld nemesis Shinseki to be named
by Hope Yen
President-elect Barack Obama has chosen retired Gen. Eric K. Shinseki
to be the
next Veterans Affairs secretary, turning to a former Army chief of staff once
by the Bush administration for questioning its Iraq war strategy.
Shinseki is the first Army four-star general of
Japanese-American ancestry. He will be
the first Asian-American to hold the post of Veterans Affairs
Shinseki's tenure as Army chief of staff from 1999 to 2003
was marked by constant
tensions with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, which
boiled over in 2003 when Shinseki
testified to Congress that it might take
several hundred thousand
troops to control
after the invasion.
Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, belittled the
estimate as "wildly off the mark"
and the army general was ousted
Obama said he selected Shinseki for the VA post because he
"was right" in predicting
will need more troops in
than Rumsfeld believed at the time.
Veterans' Affairs is the government's second largest agency.
Shinseki is a recipient of two Purple Hearts for
life-threatening injuries in
Upon leaving his post in June 2003, Shinseki in his farewell
speech sternly warned
against arrogance in leadership.
"You must love those you lead before you can be an
effective leader" he said. "You can
certainly command without that
sense of commitment, but you cannot lead without it. And
without leadership, command is a hollow experience, a vacuum often filled with mistrust
Shinseki also left with the warning: "Beware a
12-division strategy for a 10-division army."
7/30/08 press release: “House passes resolution honoring
the contributions of AAPI soldiers
during the U.S. Civil War”
DC - The U.S. House of Representatives today passed a resolution honoring
American and Pacific Islander soldiers who fought in the U.S. Civil War,
five-year battle by Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) to help correct the
Historians have recently uncovered evidence that hundreds of
soldiers of AAPI heritage
fought on both the Union and Confederate sides,
continuing a long tradition of significant AAPI
contributions to the history of
the United States
since the Colonial Era.
H. Res. 415 posthumously honors Edward Day Cohota and Joseph
L. Pierce, both of
Chinese ancestry, as examples of this overlooked group of
"The history of
would be totally different without the contributions of Asian Americans.
hard labor building the transcontinental railroad linking our coasts, to the
contributions ranging from philosophy to medicine, Asian Americans have
been an integral part
of making our country great," said Rep. Mike Honda.
"I am pleased that heroes such as Pierce
and Cohota will finally take the
place they deserve in our nation's memory."
The resolution, co-sponsored by more than 50 legislators from
both parties, focuses on the
actions of Cohota and Pierce, the two most widely
documented AAPI Civil War soldiers. Cohota's
comrades gave testimony of the
seven bullet holes in his coat during the battle of Drury Bluff.
Pierce fought at the Battle of Gettysburg, volunteering for a
dangerous assault on Bliss Farm,
a bloody no-man's land between the
and Confederate armies. Both men were Union soldiers.
Despite the sacrifice of hundreds of men such as Pierce and
Cohota, the bigoted laws of the
day denied them the right to naturalize as
Citizens. Honda said this resolution was the least
could be done to honor their memory.
"As a teacher and an educator of more than 30 years, I
believe our students should learn about
these exploits in their history books;
they should learn that from the start our country's history has
been rich in
diversity," Honda said. "Also it is very important for our community
to see their
ancestors' contribution acknowledged. I thank groups such as the
Chinese American Citizens
Alliance and all my colleagues in Congress who made
possible this long overdue resolution."
Dallas Morning News: “For Texans in 'Lost Battalion,' real heroes were
by David McLemore
After more than 60 years, they remember the cold rain and the
ferocity of combat in a fog-shrouded
forest straight out of a fairy tale. Most
of all, they remember the shared joy of survival.
In October 1944, 270 soldiers of a battalion of the 36th
Division of the Texas National Guard were
trapped by a much larger German force
. Desperately low on
food, water and ammunition, the Texans resisted for six
days. On the seventh day, help came from an
Members of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, composed of
Japanese-Americans, many whose
families remained locked up in relocation camps
in California, fought a grinding battle inch by inch up the
mountains to reach
the "Lost Battalion." They did so at a terrible price, suffering as
many casualties in the
relief effort as they saved.
Today and Saturday, the
will exhibit newly
found artifacts and hear talks by veterans of the battle. It
is a reminder, said museum director Jeff Hunt,
of how bravery and dedication to
duty triumphed over intolerance on a cold, miserable battlefield 64 years
Northwest Asian Weekly: “‘The Battle for Hearts and Minds’ goes on for
Asian American veterans,”
By Ann-Marie Stillion
Tony Chan’s DVD collection of four related documentaries
concentrates on personal stories to tell the
tale of war and the impact of
“Asians in the West” begins with Don Lau, who served as
an army journalist, turns to the combat
experiences of Cole Lew, and ends with
the story of combat nurse Lily Lee Adams, who returned to the
to become a veterans advocate.
Although not explicitly stated in the work itself, all three
have struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder.
It’s not clear how the
interviewees were chosen for the story, but it is clear that each one
only the battles in war, but the racism of fellow soldiers and
the system they found themselves in, along with
a lack of understanding from
their peers at home and in everyday life. In the end, whether due to lack of
services or an indifferent society, each was forced to come to terms with the
demons left behind.
In training, Lau was used as a stand-in for the enemy,
dressed in a coulee hat and pajamas because
he was Asian American. Authorities,
attempting to train soldiers unfamiliar with Asians, pointed to him and
“This is what the enemy looks like.”
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Documentaries are available separately from distributors
Video Out, www.videoout.ca, and Canadian
Filmmakers Distribution Centre,
Asia Times Online: "Speaking Freely: Asian American soldiers of
by Gina Hotta
Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows
guest writers to have their say. Please
click here if you are interested in
When Major General Antonio Taguba steps on-stage, his
shoulders are pulled back and he stands
straight while addressing the audience
. He smiles at the warm
reception he receives at a university known for being at
the center of anti-war and left-wing students
movements. A man in the audience
holds up a sign saying "Mabuhay General", expressing a warm
Tagalog, a language of the
Philippines. It also reflects the pride that Filipinos in
feel when they see this man - the son of immigrants to
Hawaii, whose father was a survivor of the Bataan
Death March - talk about his
investigation that revealed systematic abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib
1/22/08 Asian Week: "Nisei Veterans Postage Stamp Campaign Gains
by Lisa Wong Macabasco
Postal Service committee meets next week to consider proposed
stamp honoring World War II
Japanese American vets
The U.S. Postal Service Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee
will meet on Jan. 24 and 25 to
formally consider a proposal to honor American
World War II servicemen and women of Japanese
heritage with a commemorative
“President Truman said it best — Nisei soldiers fought
prejudice at home and on the battlefield,
and won,” Sen. Daniel K. Akaka said.
“A stamp in their honor would be a fitting tribute to these
9/26/07 Asian Week: “Hmong Labeled Terrorists,
Denied Green Cards,”
by: Sandy Cha
Calif. — It’s an endless process of waiting, of not knowing why or how, but
that’s often the
way it is, applying for
citizenship. Many can relate, but in particular, the situation has become
tenuous for the 4,000 Hmong with backlogged applications.
During the Vietnam War, the
recruited more than 40,000 Hmong men in Laos
communism on behalf of the American government in a covert operation
known as the Secret War.
9/6/07 Dallas Morning News: "Show profiles Japanese-American war
by Esther Wu
PBS will present "Most Honorable Son," a profile on
Ben Kuroki , one of the first Japanese-
American war heroes. The show will air at
8 p.m. Sept. 17 and can be seen locally on KERA-TV
. . . . . . . . . .
7/5/07 New York Daily News: “Pol honors the
'forgotten': Rookie legislator wins fight for state Korean
War Veterans Day,”
by Lynsey Johnson
As the daughter of a Korean War veteran, Queens Assemblywoman
Ellen Young knows how important
it is to honor veterans of the "forgotten
The rookie legislator, who grew up hearing about the war from
her parents, helped pass a resolution
last month that made June 25 Korean War
Veterans Day in New York.
6/5/07 San Francisco Chronicle: “Ex-general called father of Hmong in
by Matthai Chakko Kuruvila
More than 30 years ago, Vang Pao led a guerrilla army of
Hmong tribesmen fighting to keep communist
forces from taking control of his
Laos. When the
staged its final retreat from
1975, Pao fled to the
and helped other Hmong to do the same.
The former general is now 77 years old and living in
County, but federal authorities said Monday
that he hadn't given up the fight. They
accused him of leading a ring of conspirators that was raising money
to launch an attack against the communist government in
2007 Asiance Magazine: “In Pursuit of a Dream” by Edmund Moy
On November 10th, 1944, pilot Hazel Ying Lee reported to Bell
Aircraft factory at Niagara Falls,
New York . She was given orders to pick up a
new P-63 fighter and fly it to
As one of 132 female pilots trained to "fly
pursuit," Lee was qualified to pilot the super-fast and
of the era, including the P-51s, P-47s and P-39s.
12/27/06 San Jose Mercury News: “Chung: Victories mark veteran's life: Paving
Way for Those Who Followed”
By L.A. Chung, Mercury News Columnist
In his 103 years of living, he was variously known as Asha
Schutz and Peter King, but it didn't matter
to Peter Chang Sr., whose steady,
small victories helped pave the way for others during an era when
``Orientals'' were viewed mostly as house servants.
The retired Navy man's life will be celebrated Thursday at
Mountain View, a place that was almost his second home in recent years. He died Nov. 26.
For Broke Receives $100,000 From Paul & Hisako Terasaki
(Torrance, Calif.) – The Go For Broke National Education
Center has received a $100,000 gift from
Paul and Hisako Terasaki to help
further its efforts to preserve the story of the World War II Japanese
veterans, whose decorations and record of service is unparalleled in military
history, it was
Dr. Terasaki is a noted researcher who served as Professor of
Surgery at UCLA from 1969-99.
In 1964, he developed the micro
lympho-cytotoxicity test that was adopted in 1970 as the international
method of tissue typing. He and his corporation, One Lambda, have played a
central role in the
development of tissue typing and transplantation surgery.
11/9/06 Belleville News Democrat: “Duckworth says future run for office a
By Megan Reichgott
- Tammy Duckworth has
dinner plans with her former Army buddies. Then she wants new
flying lessons and a Ph.D.
After that, she'll consider running for Congress again.
. . . . . . . . . .
11/3/06 Washington Post: “VFW Passes Over
by Don Babwin The Associated Press
Chicago -- The Veterans of Foreign Wars' political action
committee Friday endorsed a Republican
congressional candidate with no military
experience over a Democrat who lost her legs in combat in
The endorsement of GOP state Sen. Peter Roskam over Tammy
Duckworth angered some
veterans, as well as national figures such as former Sen. Bob Kerrey, a veteran
who lost a leg in
. . . . . . . . . .
8/30/06 Sacramento Bee: “Filipino vets ask for
full WWII honors,”
by Stephen Magagnini
Raymundo V. Seva survived the hellish Bataan Death March at
the hands of his
Japanese captors. Seva, 85, lived long enough to become a
citizen -- a privilege
granted to thousands of Filipino World War II veterans ordered to serve under
Douglas MacArthur's Far East Command.
But Seva, who now resides in downtown
with his wife, Fe, wonders if
he'll live to see the day he and his fellow Filipino warriors will finally be
. . . . . . . . . .
Dallas Morning News: “Monumental contributions deserve a moment,”
by Esther Wu
I've often been asked why there is a need for an Asian
Pacific American Heritage Month or,
for that matter, Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month. My response is
special months were created because the public needs to learn more about these
The struggles, achievements and contributions of many people are
often overlooked. Learning
about our diverse society – about people who look, speak and eat differently
than we do – may
help us gain a better understanding of one another. And we can only hope that
will lead to more
So just for the record, here are a few Asian-American
"firsts" that helped shape the world we
live in today.
Young Oak Kim: first Asian-American to command a battalion during war. He led
1st Battalion, 31st Army Infantry Regiment during the Korean War. During
World War II
Kim was a member of the 442nd/100th Regimental Combat Team, one of the most
military history. The "Go for Broke" segregated Japanese-American
created while an estimated 120,000 people of Japanese descent were interned in
• Gen. Eric K. Shinseki: first Asian-American to be named chief
of staff of the Army, in 1999.
Before the war in
, he was the first to tell the Senate Armed Services Committee that it would
take several hundred thousand soldiers to maintain order in that country after
the war. Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld disagreed with Gen. Shinseki, who retired shortly
1/4/06 Los Angeles Times: “Young O. Kim, 86; World War II and Korean War Hero,
Uniter of L.A. Asian Communities,”
by Myrna Oliver
Retired Army Col. Young O. Kim, one of the most celebrated
heroes of World
War II and the Korean War, who later became Los Angeles' elder statesman and
link among Korean,
Japanese and other Asian American communities, has died.
He was 86.
Kim died Thursday of cancer at
Los Angeles Daily Breeze: “Veterans 'Go for Broke' in honoring fallen soldier.
WWII Nisei troops pay tribute to
's Medal of Honor winner, Ted Tanouye.
by Doug Irving
The old soldiers gathered in the morning sun, greeting each
other with hands
that trembled with age, snapping pictures of a granite monument to a fallen comrade.
were Nisei, second-generation Japanese-Americans who fought in
while their parents waited behind the barbed wire of relocation camps.
They had fought
alongside Ted Tanouye, the
farm boy who earned a Medal
of Honor in World War II.
. . . . . . . . . .
8/16/05 Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
"Japanese American vets' service to
intelligence, they acted as translators, interrogators, code
by John Iwasaki
Less than a year after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Howard
whose parents emigrated from the country waging war against the United
States -- received his draft notice in Seattle .
8/11/05 Lincoln (NE) Journal Star: “New honor for Japanese-American hero,”
by Joe Duggan
He remembers the day, but not if it was cloudy or clear.
Doesn't matter — no one could discern sky through all the
blasting around them.
"You couldn't believe how black it was with all the
explosions," says Ben
Kuroki, recalling the World War II bombing mission
that occurred nearly 62 years ago.
(Miss) American: “Veteran of famed Japanese-American
by Janet Braswell
Herbert Sasaki first saw Camp
as a 23-year-old Japanese-American
soldier who left his family in an interment
camp to fight with the 442nd Regimental
5/15/05 Twin Cities
Pioneer Press: 'Secret war' echoes: In May 1975, the
evacuated Hmong leaders from
era climaxed. That exodus
30 years ago changed a people — and a faraway city.
by Jim Ragsdale
America's secret war was
finally ending — in chaos, and in private.
Tens of thousands of Hmong fighters and their families waited
on a mountain
airstrip in northern Laos. Gun-toting men, aged parents and mothers nursing
babies, their belongings
stuffed into bamboo boxes and overflowing suitcases,
all sat on the airfield in the tropical heat.
2/25/05 Pasadena Star News: “Marine honored
with tree planting,”
By Jason Kosareff , Staff Writer
-- Officials, family and friends gathered Friday at
to plant a tree in honor of a young Marine killed in
during the attack
Lance Cpl. Victor Lu, 22, of
Heights, was praised as a courageous fighter
and beloved relative by his family and as a role model by state and local officials who
came to pay
The Sunfire Group
Retired Col. Young O. Kim Receives French Legion of Honor Award from Government
Los Angeles (February 8, 2005) - The Consul General of France
presented the highly decorated World War II and Korean War veteran Colonel Young
O. Kim (Ret.) with
the National Order of The Legion of Honor award ("Légion d'honneur")
from the government
of France on Friday, February 4.
Press: “Sen. Inouye, Grandfather-in-waiting”
By B.J. Reyes
Honolulu - In his office, significant honors over eight
decades - college diplomas, civic
honors, the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and other military awards for valor
overshadow the tiny scrap of yellowed paper set off to the side.
"This I'm proudest about, above all else," Sen.
Daniel Inouye says, pointing out the
"junior police officer" certificate he received in elementary school.
. . . . . . . . .
6/23/04 Sacramento Bee:
death hits Willows: Hmong family mourns its loss,"
Chou Vue's father and brother were killed
as they fought for the
government during the Vietnam War.
On Friday, he lost his son.
Spc. Thai Vue died Friday in
when a mortar round hit a group of vehicles
where he was working. The 22-year-old mechanic served with the U.S. Army's
Military Police Company, 709th Military Police Battalion, 18th Military Police
6/3/04: ASIAN AMERICANS REMEMBER D-DAY: They also ask that their contributions
not be forgotten
By Sam Chu Lin
A visitor to Kenny Gong's home in
will quickly notice a picture
frame with World War II medals and photographs prominently displayed in the
room. They are reminders that he was among the thousands of paratroopers who
dropped behind enemy lines in
on D-Day. One photograph shows him proudly
cradling a machine gun in his arms, a good clue as to why his colleagues in the
101st Airborne nicknamed the 17-year-old paratrooper "Machine Gun
In nearby Greenville, Jack Wong and his wife Fannie are
thumbing through an old
newspaper acknowledging him as one of the city's three honorary grand marshals
last December's Christmas parade and for his service during World War II. Wong
in the Army Signal Corp and was among the tens of thousands of soldiers who
through the waters onto
only days after the initial invasion took place.
Delbert Wong, a
judge, is sitting in his
home, ready to watch
the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Minnesota Timberwolves in the final Western
Conference championship game [Lakers' won.]. A model of a B-17 Flying Fortress
bomber like the one he flew as a navigator sits on a coffee table nearby. As a
Lieutenant, Wong served in the 401 Bomb Group of the 8th Air Force during World
War II. He's thankful that he survived 30 missions over
raids, he says, helped to pave the way for D-Day.
, Roy Fong is in the garage repairing a drawer to an old refrigerator
while his wife is preparing a salmon sandwich in the kitchen for lunch. During
War II, he was a radio operator stationed at Warmwell, a P-38 Lightning and
and helped to guide fighter pilots home. He recently
celebrated his 80th birthday. He soon plans to call a friend in
to remember D-Day.
On that fateful day, Gong says it was about 1:30 in the
morning when a C-47 dropped
him and his fellow paratroopers near Saint-Mere Eglise. As the men jumped from
plane into the dark night air, they were greeted with a deadly 4th of July
"There were plenty of ack-ack guns," Gong recounted. "I was so
scared. The man
ahead of me got shot through the stomach. I landed in a ditch near hedgerows
Germans running all around me. It took me a day to get back to my unit."
The 80-year-old World War II veteran is proud of his military
service. He smiles as
he wishfully thinks that perhaps one day a book might be written including his
experiences. He notes that he has collected war souvenirs including a German
but his voice becomes serious when he talks about those who made the supreme
sacrifice on that fateful June 6 six decades ago.
"When I think about that day," he related, "I
get sick all over. I think about all of the
dead people. I don't want to watch any television shows about D-Day. I went
the real thing."
In contrast, 82-year-old Jack Wong vividly remembers the many
and his own close calls with German snipers, but he feels differently about
60th anniversary. "This D-Day anniversary means a lot to me," Wong
stated. "It brings
back a lot of memories. I was drafted to protect the liberty and freedom we so
in this country. In boot camp, I met with men who came from all over the
learned a lot, and I matured a whole lot."
Wong was with the 12th Army Group and on D- Day, he and other
amassed on the southern tip of
. Fate dealt them a positive hand. They were
held in reserve and didn't go in on the first wave. When they arrived, fierce
"We got off a transport ship into a landing craft,"
the Mississippi Delta veteran
remembered. "Near shore we waded in knee deep water. Many bodies were
in the water. The Germans were firing artillery and machine guns at us, and our
battleships and troops fired back at them."
"Our main job was to intercept German radio messages and
to turn over that
information to G2 intelligence," he continued on. "They would decode
and feed it to headquarters to let them know where the German armored divisions
were deployed and what they were up to."
Wong emphasizes all Americans --- especially Asian Pacific
Americans --- should
appreciate the sacrifices that the veterans of World War II and other conflicts
for this country.
He is thankful that his city, which once denied Chinese
Americans the right to send
their children to once segregated white schools or to use the local hospital
has recognized veterans like himself for their contributions and honored them.
"We have more liberty and freedom than any other country
in the world," he
commented. "Many people including Asian Americans sacrificed their lives to
that liberty and freedom that we enjoy. The people who are new in this country
be educated about that history so they too will appreciate the sacrifices that
made, and they'll be encouraged to do what they can to protect that liberty and
Judge Wong, who later became the first person of Chinese
descent to be appointed
to the judiciary in the continental
, says that the Allied bomb raids over
helped to eliminate Hitler's air power so an invasion could take place.
"There were few (German) airplanes flying over
D-Day," Judge Wong noted. "If there
were more, they would have strafed our troops and we couldn't have had the
The retired superior court judge had completed his 30
missions on June 2nd and was
scheduled to go home just before the D-Day invasion, but he and his fellow
were held in reserve just in case they were needed. He says the bombers paid a
price to pave the way for D-Day to happen.
"We flew the last hour to
without fighter cover," he recounted. "The city was
surrounded by over 400 gun batteries. We lost 60 bombers. At the same time, our
was credited with 400 enemy aircraft destroyed in one day. We didn't know what
at because there were so many fighters coming through. They came so close you
see the pilots' faces as they went whizzing by."
On another mission, German fighters raked Wong's B-17 dubbed
the "Dry Run" with
17 direct hits. A waist gunner was killed and two other crewmembers were
bomber limped back to
and crashed landed at a British fighter base.
Judge Wong feels the media and historians should make more of
an effort to recognize
the contributions of Asian Pacific Americans during World War II, especially
with the 60th
anniversary of D-Day approaching.
"I think that the 100th Battalion / 442nd Nisei
Regimental Combat Team has not gotten
as much coverage or attention that they deserve," he cited as example.
"They are the most
decorated unit in
military history. We don't really hear about them except in the Asian
press, and they should get more coverage."
Roy Fong, who was a sergeant and radio operator in the 9th
Air Force of the Army Air
Corps, says if anyone looked up at the sky on D-Day it was clear an invasion was
"With 10,000 planes up in the air ---- maybe more, some
going in one direction and others
going in another direction," the retired Los Angeles Department of Water
employee noted, "you couldn't count them. They were headed for
and then coming
back to reload. On June 6th our squadron commander didn't come back. He was shot
There had been plenty of air activity going on for a solid
week. The former radio operator
says he couldn't hear the machine gun fire, but he knew when the pilots were in
listening to them on the radio. "They'd say, 'Bandit at two o'clock high!
There's one coming
in at four o'clock,'" he recounted. "When they finished their
missions, the pilots radioed us
back. We set up homing beacons to guide them in."
Years later Fong was reminded of how important a role he
played. Several attendees at
a veterans' reunion nonchalantly identified him as a "cook." "I
was the only Asian in my
fighter group," he said.
His wife Elizabeth quickly interjected, "Pilots that
quickly said, 'No, No, he's not
a cook! He brought us home safely. That's why we're here at this reunion.'"
"It would be great if more people realized that Asian Americans contributed
much to help
win the war."