My father said of his children: "I don't want anyone rich or famous. I just want nine good citizens."
And so it happened. My five brothers and I served in the military. Steve volunteered in 1942 immediately after the Pearl Harbor attack and was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, later transferring to the segregated 442nd Regimental Combat Team. In 1944 Don served with the Military Intelligence Service in Japan. Ronald was stationed in Hawaii and Peter in California. George served in Korea. In 2011 the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award, was given to all members of the 442nd RCT and to the MIS, including my brothers Steve and Don.
Under Executive Order 9066, those with one-sixteenth or more "Japanese blood" were incarcerated. I became prisoner #25217-C. Upon release from Poston Concentration Camp II, I volunteered for the Navy but was rejected because of my color. In 1951, with a nursing degree from Case Western Reserve University, I was accepted into the US Air Force Nurse Corps and assigned to the officers' ward at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas. My assignments included Clark Field in the Philippines and the FEAM COM Hospital in Japan during the Korean conflict. In 1952, I was discharged with the rank of captain.
When our soldiers returned the most highly decorated unit in US history, they were not accepted into the National VFW, so the Nisei organized their own Posts. I serve as Post Surgeon and chair our Speakers Bureau, Veterans of Foreign Wars Nisei Post 8985, Sacramento, California. For thirty years we have been speaking to thousands of students from elementary to college level on “LESSONS FROM OUR LIFETIME: The Internment of Americans of Japanese Descent and the United States Constitution.” We also have many requests from nursing homes for our Post 8985 Ukulele/ Hula group, of which I am the oldest dancer at ninety-six.
I have four precious children by adoption and five grandchildren, a part of the five generations of multiracial "good citizens" my father wished for.