JAPANESE AMERICAN VETERANS ASSOCIATION
1666 K Street,NW, Suite 500, Washington,D.C. 20006, c/o Gerald Yamada, Esq.
IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Vol. II
December 1, 2007 No. 47
CONTACT: Terry Shima (301-987-6746; firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR PHOTOS: Please go to JAVA Website, www.javadc.org, scroll to Press Release. Pictures embedded in below titled article.
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100th BN-442nd RCT RECEIVES AUDIE MURPHY AWARD FROM AMERICAN VETERANS CENTER. 442ND AND MIS VETERANS ALSO IN PANEL DISCUSSION.
Japanese American Veterans Association
On November 10, 2007, the American Veterans Center (AVC) presented its prestigious Audie Murphy Award to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team(RCT). On behalf of the members of this combat unit, four 442nd veterans accepted the award from James C. Roberts, founder and president of the AVC, at the AVC’s 10th Annual Conference and Awards Banquet attended by 500 people at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, DC. The 442nd RCT veterans were George Joe Sakato, Co E Medal of Honor (MOH) recipient from Denver, Colorado; Yeiichi Kelly Kuwayama; Co E, Joe Ichiuji, 522nd Field Artillery of the 442nd RCT; and Terry Shima, 442nd Public Relations Office. The Nisei are members of the Japanese American Veterans Association (JAVA).
442nd veterans receive Audie Murphy Award. L-R: Joe Ichiuji, Kelly Kuwayama, Jim Roberts, George Sakato, and Terry Shima.
The Audie Murphy Award is presented “for distinguished service in the United States Military during World War II”. Murphy was the most decorated soldier in WW II. He fought in nine campaigns and won every medal the Army had to offer including the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars and three Purple Hearts.
The citation read, in part, “The men of the 442nd chose their slogan: ‘Go For Broke.’ This reference to the ultimate gamble represented exactly what these Japanese Americans were doing. They were risking it all on one great effort to win big. Their gamble, however, was to offer their lives to prove their loyalty. The predecessor to the 442nd was the 100th Infantry Battalion, which fought valiantly through Italy, earning tremendous respect. … For their valor, courage and loyalty to country, all of the men who served in the 100th-442nd Regimental Combat Team are being recognized as the recipients of the American Veterans Center’s 2007 Audie Murphy Award.”
In his acceptance speech, Sakato said “I am proud and honored to accept the Audie Murphy Award on behalf of the 100th Battalion-442nd Regimental Combat Team, the Nisei soldiers who served in the Military Intelligence units in the Asia Pacific Theater, the men who served in the US Air Corps and the women who served in the Women Army Corps (WAC) and the Nurses Corps. …We enlisted in the armed forces to show our loyalty to our country. We volunteered from internment camps and from the pineapple and sugar cane fields from Hawaii. We were proud of our motto: “Go For Broke”. In rescuing the Texas Battalion that was trapped by the Germans we lived this motto to the fullest.”
Earlier in the week, on November 8, Sakato, Kuwayama, Ichiuji, Grant Hirabayashi, Merrill’s Marauder and Ranger Hall of Fame inductee and Grant Ichikawa, veteran of the Army’s Military Intelligence Service, participated in a one hour panel discussion at the AVC conference entitled: “Unparalleled Patriotism: The Japanese Experience in WW II”. Approximately 250 packed the meeting hall. Following this, the veterans moved to an adjoining room where they held a Question and Answer session with some 70 high school students from the Osbourn Park High School in Manassas, Virginia.
The mission of AVC is to preserve and promote the legacy of America’s service men and women. Comprised of two divisions, the WW II Veterans Committee and National Vietnam Veterans Committee, the AVC also sponsors the National Memorial Day Parade in WDC. 30