The following is a guest blog post by Andrew Huber, Liaison Specialist for the Veterans History Project (VHP).
Throughout the month of May, we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage, and remember the contributions made by people of Asian Pacific descent. Those contributions are numerous, from Duke Kahanamoku, who brought the sport of surfing into the mainstream, to Steven Chu, who earned the Nobel Prize in physics for pioneering methods in supercooling atoms. However, the contributions to our nation that required the most courage, dedication and sacrifice were undoubtedly those of veterans.
Perhaps the most notable and selfless examples from this group are the Nisei veterans of World War II. Along with their parents, children, aunts and uncles, they were rounded up by their own U.S. government, forcibly removed from their homes and placed in internment camps. After these grave injustices, nobody could have possibly blamed Japanese Americans for turning their backs on the country that betrayed them, yet, instead, thousands of Nisei volunteered to go to war.
One such volunteer was Warren Tsuneishi. Tsuneishi was living in Monrovia, California, when Executive Order 9066 forced his family to be relocated to the Heart Mountain War Relocation Center in Wyoming. He received a special dispensation to leave the camp and get his college degree from Syracuse University After finishing his senior year early, he volunteered for the Army, and enrolled in the Military Intelligence Service Language School—the only option offered to him as a Japanese American except for the 442nd