Army family legacy inspires Asian American Pacific Island Heritage Month observance

| June 4, 2018 | 0 Comments
Courtesy photo submitted by Col. (Ret.) Kimo Dunn of his mother Cpl. Anna Kim's graduating class 1944 Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, company 8, 21st Regiment, third Women's Army Corps (W.A.C.) Training Center. His mother was one of the first WACs from Hawaii. She served during World War II and then served in Federal Civil Service to include the occupation years in Japan.

The portrait, above, is of retired Col. Kimo Dunn’s mother, Cpl. Anna Kim’s graduating class of 1944 in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, Company 8, 21st Regiment, Third Women’s Army Corps (W.A.C.) Training Center. His mother was one of the first WACs from Hawaii. She served during World War II and then served in Federal Civil Service to include the occupation years in Japan. (Courtesy photo from retired Col. Kimo Dunn)

1st Sgt. Crista Mack 
9th Mission Support Command

FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii — Honor, tradition and legacy are a significant part of what it means to be part of the U.S. Army. Everyone has a different story, and this Asian American Pacific Island Heritage Month presented an opportunity for a particularly inspiring one.

Pacific Army Reserve Soldiers, civilians and family of the 9th Mission Support Command were encouraged, May 22, at the Fort Shafter Assembly Hall by the Army family story of retired Col. Kimo Dunn, former commander of the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment, and today serving as the civilian Deputy Operations for 9th Mission Support Command, at the command’s official Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month observance.

FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii – Honor, tradition and legacy are a significant part of what it means to be part of the U.S. Army. Everyone has a different story, and this Asian American Pacific Island Heritage Month presented an opportunity for a particularly inspiring one. Pacific Army Reserve Soldiers, Civilians and Family of the 9th Mission Support Command were encouraged May 22 at the Fort Shafter Assembly Hall by the Army family story of Col. (Ret) Kimo Dunn, former commander of the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment and today serving as a civilian Deputy Operations for 9th Mission Support Command, at the command’s official Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month observance. (Photo by Crista Mary Mack, U.S. Army)

FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii — Pacific Army Reserve Soldiers, civilians and family of the 9th Mission Support Command are encouraged, May 22, at the Fort Shafter Assembly Hall by the Army family story of retired Col. Kimo Dunn, former commander of the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment and today serving as a civilian Deputy Operations for 9th Mission Support Command, at the command’s official Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month observance. (Photo by Crista Mary Mack, U.S. Army)

Dunn has Hawaiian, Chinese, Korean, Chamorran and Caucasian ancestry, and both of his parents served in conflicts from World War II through the Vietnam War.

“The world and the enemies of the world had different plans for my father,” Dunn said, initially explaining how his father, Maj. Purdeson Dunn, half Native Hawaiian, spent his childhood in Papakolea, Hawaiian homestead lands. “Because of Pearl Harbor and what happened Dec. 7, 1941, my father was enlisted into the Army, and served from World War II through Korea and Vietnam, retiring here at Schofield Barracks.”

Dunn’s mother, Cpl. Anna Kim, was one of the first WACs, the Women’s Army Corps, from Hawaii. She served during World War II and then continued to serve in Federal Civil Service to include the occupation years in Japan. Dunn shared family stories from Japan, Hawaii and more, and historic images with the group.

Enlisted in the Army 1983, Dunn joined ROTC through the University of Hawaii, and graduated as a distinguished military graduate. He served a long career with many notable achievements, recognized mostly for his time commanding the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment. Despite his many milestones, awards, deployments and multiple lifetime achievements, commands, Dunn spoke humbly and straightforward to the audience.

“We all have stories; we all come from places. You have heard a little of my story and my family’s story here on Oahu, but we are all honored to serve, to put on the uniform, to serve as something higher than yourself,” he said. “Everybody comes from somewhere. So I’d like to emphasize that as we go around that we unite our vision, working together, learn about people. As you learn, you get the diversity of our team.”

Looking towards the future, and the next generation of Soldiers, Dunn shared an image of his recent visit to his son’s graduation from Ranger school.

Archive photos submitted by Kimo Dunn of his father,  U.S. Army Maj. Purdeson Dunn, of his time serving in the U.S. Army.

The portrait, above, is of retired Col. Kimo Dunn’s archive photos of his father, U.S. Army Maj. Purdeson Dunn, during his time serving in the U.S. Army. (Courtesy photo from retired Col. Kimo Dunn)

“We bring all these capabilities together; we all speak the languages. Our Detachment in Japan, many of them live there and speak the language; they don’t need interpreters. Another example, when we go to Exercise Balikatan in the Philippines, many of our Soldiers are Filipino,” he said. “When we train with our counterparts, and we speak the same language, that is capability, but also understanding the culture,” he said.

“So that is what we bring to the fight, bring to the table, in addition to everything else,” Dunn said.

Audience members expressed feelings of pride and inspiration following the event.

“Mr. Dunn’s presentation reminded us that the unique cultural and ethnic diversity of the 9th Mission Support Command are truly force multipliers and as members of the Pride of the Pacific. It is an honor to continue to uphold the historic legacy of sacrifice embodied by units such as the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry,” said Sgt. 1st Class Kris Kaopuiki, 322nd Civil Affairs Brigade sexual response coordinator.

Master Sgt. Dana Apo, an Equal Opportunity adviser for the 9th MSC and coordinator of the event, spoke in congruence to Dunn’s request, to reach out and find out the stories of those around us.

“When we look at Equal Opportunity and the observances, it’s really about the respect that we show one another, regardless of where we come from as we all have our own story,” Apo said. “This particular month, we can look at 30 or 50 different languages, and celebrate all that. Take the opportunity to go out there and meet someone new. Reach out and talk story because that is what we love to do.”

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Category: DVIDS, Leadership, News, Observances

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