Congressional Gold Medal

Letter from Christine Sato Yamazaki
National Veterans Network
A coalition of Japanese American Veteran and Civic Organizations

Dear Colleagues and Friends,
September 24, 2010

The US Congress has passed a bill to award the Congressional Gold Medal collectively to the 100th, 442nd and MIS.

Personnel in the Military Intelligence Service who qualify for the CGM are those who “intercepted radio transmissions, translated enemy documents, interrogated enemy prisoners of war, volunteered for reconnaissance and covert intelligence missions, and persuaded enemy combatants to surrender” while they served overseas or in the US during WW II.

All members and families of the 100, 442 and MIS and the Japanese American community are deeply grateful and humbled to receive the highest civilian honor Congress can bestow on an individual or group.

The National Veterans Network (NVN), an organization of 22 Japanese American veterans and civic organizations was organized to assist the US Congress as appropriate to organize a two‐day program in Washington, DC to celebrate this important event.

Congressional sources have informed us that priority for seating will be given to living 100, 442, and MIS veterans. NVN believes that widows or next of kin of Nisei killed in action or deceased veterans also should be recognized for priority seating.

We will strive to achieve that goal.

The date of the award ceremony will be announced by the Speaker of the House.

Because of the extensive preparatory work that must be done, e.g. the minting of the medal, we believe the award date will be in Summer or Fall of 2011.

Also, we have been advised that there is only one gold medal that will be presented to all three units.

Replicas of the medals will be available for sale at the time of the congressional ceremony.

The first step in this endeavor is to take a headcount of those in the following categories who are planning to come to Washington, DC for the two‐day award festivities.

Would you please provide the following information as soon as possible to:
Metta Tanikawa
email: cgm.tanikawa@gmail.com

She is a member of the Japanese American Veterans Association (JAVA) but in this endeavor has volunteered to serve NVN. She will be the keeper of the master list.

Or, send to Terry Shima
415 Russell Ave, #1005
Gaithersburg, MD 20877


I. If you are a 100, 442, Nisei who served in MIS veteran, complete this section:

Name _________________.

Plan to attend ______.
Plan to attend if transportation/lodging support provided _____

100th and 442nd veteran:
Battalion _______ Company_____ Date of Service ___________

MIS veteran.
Which MIS Language School attended___________ .

Which other US Army Language School attended___________.
Location served________
Date of Service ____________.

Postal Address________________________

Telephone: ___________________________
E‐Mail _______________________________
FAX ________________________________

Accompanied by (if yes)__________________

[Please provide names of all in your party. Needed for seating and to facilitate entry in US Capitol Building.]

II. If you are a widow or next of kin of 100, 442, MIS deceased member.

Plan to attend _________

Name of widow or next of kin of 100, 442, MIS: _________________.

Name of deceased 100, 442, MIS member ________________________

100th and 442nd veteran: Battalion _____ Company_____ 
Date of Service ___________

MIS veteran.
Which MIS Language School attended___________ .

Which other US Army Language School attended___________.
Location served________
Date of Service ____________.

Postal Address________________________
Telephone: ___________________________
E‐Mail _______________________________
FAX ________________________________

Accompanied by (if yes)__________________
[Please provide names of all in your party.]


One Korean War Veteran

 Japanese American Living Legacy Project Documents
October 30, 2006
By Mimi Ko Cruz

.....Indeed, said Robert Wada (Poston 30-2-B), a 75-year-old Japanese-American Korean War veteran who, with his parents and eight older siblings, was forced to live in an Japanese internment camp during World War II. His oral history is being compiled by the JA Living Legacy Project.

“I’ve got a whole pile of history of my life just sitting in boxes,” Wada said.

“This is stuff that will eventually get all thrown in a box and forgotten when I’m gone, but this project is helping to preserve an important time in American history that Japanese Americans lived through. It’s educating future generations about what our generation went through.”

His own compelling story is full of details that grammar school history books don’t include, such as what it was like living in an internment camp as a young boy and, then, becoming a Marine and fighting for a country that harbored anti-Japanese sentiment.

For him, Dec. 7, 1941 — the day Pearl Harbor was bombed — is one of his most unforgettable days, Wada said, recalling the orders that rounded up 120,000 Japanese Americans, who were forced to abandon their properties and most of their belongings and live in internment camps.

“The internment camp where I spent three years, from age 11, was known as Poston, Arizona (block 30-2-B),” Wada said. “An entire family lived in one room that had one central light hanging from the ceiling. There were four rooms in tar-papered barracks over pine boards with holes in the floors. Each person was given a folding cot with a mattress bag that had to be filled with hay — the same kind you feed to horses…. The saddest moment for me in the camp was the day my father died when I was only 14.”

Source: http://calstate.fullerton.edu/news/inside/2006/Korea/korea2.html

From Internment, to Korea, to Solitude by Robert M. Wada.
CreateSpace, June 2010. Paperback, 199 pages.
ISBN-13: 9781439258286 ISBN: 1439258287

In his moving memoir, we are carried into the world of WWII Japanese-American internment camps, discrimination, tragedies and as a young Marine fighting for his country in the Korean War. This is a story about struggle and loss of hope, followed by new purpose and faith.


"Poston Barrack Relocation Challenge"

In 2006, the U.S. Congress established the Japanese American Confinement Sites grant program in 2006 to preserve & interpret the places where Japanese Americans were imprisoned after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. The law authorizes up to $38 million in grants for the life of the program to identify, research, evaluate, interpret, protect, restore, repair, and acquire historic confinement sites.

In May, 2010. the Poston Community Alliance Project, "Poston Preservation Project—Barrack Relocation and Rehabilitation" was awarded funding for $30,000.
Currently, the Poston Community Alliance received a donated Poston barrack (2-tiered roof original) from V. Ramsey. The rapidly deteriorating barrack remains in the town of Parker, AZ, about 17 miles from the Poston Restoration Project site.

Each grant requires a 2:1 Federal to non-Federal match. For example, to receive $2 of Federal funds at least a $1 non-Federal match is required.
The match may be composed of cash or 'in-kind' contributions.
The non-Federal match may be raised and spent during the grant period; it does not have to be “in the bank” at the time of the application.

Today, the Poston Community Alliance is about $2K SHORT of the required "MATCHING funds" required by the Japanese American Confinement Sites grant program.

We need YOUR help now.

We have received a challenge grant from an anonymous donor.
It's called the "Barrack Relocation Challenge".
Every dollar you donate will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $500

Ready...get set.... GO!

All monetary donations are tax deductible.
Make checks payable to: The Poston Restoration Project

Mail to: Marlene Shigekawa, Treasurer
956 Hawthorne Drive
Lafayette, CA 94549

Thank you!
Dianne Kiyomoto
Board Member/Archivist
Poston Community Alliance, Inc.
The Poston Restoration Project
electronic mail: diannerd79 at yahoo dot com

Update: 9/10/10 GREAT NEWS!
With our Barrack Challenge Grant, we now have $500! Let's keep it going---need to get to $2K mark to "move that barrack!"

UPDATE: 9/4/10
So far in just a few days, we have received $275 to meet our Barrack Challenge Grant. Let's keep it up!