9th MSC reservists, veterans recreate historic scene

| April 8, 2011 | 0 Comments
Army reservists from 9th MSC’s 100th Bn., 442nd Inf. Regt., join World War II veterans from the 100th Inf. Bn., 442nd Regt. Combat Team, and the Military Intelligence Service, at Iolani Palace, March 28.

Army reservists from 9th MSC’s 100th Bn., 442nd Inf. Regt., join World War II veterans from the 100th Inf. Bn., 442nd Regt. Combat Team, and the Military Intelligence Service, at Iolani Palace, March 28.

Story and Photo by
Christina Douglas
9th Mission Support Command Public Affairs

 

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

Nearly seven decades later, 35 of the same veterans stood side-by-side with U.S. Army reservists from the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment, 9th Mission Support Command, at Iolani Palace, here, to recreate this historic scene, March 28.

The 100th Inf. Bn., 442nd Regt. Combat Team, and the Military Intelligence Service veterans’ loyalty and credibility were questioned at the beginning of the war with Japan. Yet, after the bloody battles that characterized their wartime service, these Soldiers became part of the most decorated unit in U.S. military history.

The 13,000 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, and it will be presented to the three units later this year in Washington.

“We want to honor the veterans … with our family, friends and the community,” said retired Maj. Gen. Robert Lee, Congressional Gold Medal-Hawaii committee member and 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 100th Inf. Bn., 442nd Regt. Combat Team,” he said. “(To the veterans,) you can be sure that your legacy remains in the U.S. Army today, as evident by the Soldiers standing behind you.”

Staff Sgt. Anthony Livernois, senior mechanic, 740th Combat Support Company, 100th Bn., 442nd Inf. Regt., said that to be a part of such a historic organization is extremely humbling.

“I only hope that we can continue to honor our predecessors and bring credit upon what they have done and all they have sacrificed,” he said.

“Every day that we have the opportunity to be with them is a privilege,” said Lt. Col. Kimo Dunn, commander, 100th Bn., 442nd Inf. Regt. “They are living legends. We see what these veterans have done for our community, state and country, as a whole. The part that really hits home is that legacy of service and patriotism to our country. We’re just so privileged to be a part of it.”

Because many of the aging veterans will not be able to attend the Washington event, the Congressional Gold Medal-Hawaii committee plans to hold a parade in Waikiki, Dec. 17, followed by a banquet at the Honolulu Convention Center.

As for the current Soldiers of the 100th Bn, 442nd Inf. Regt., Dunn said they are sure to attend to honor the veterans and continue to carry on the “Go for Broke” legacy.

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