Let me introduce myself to the followers of “Unhealed Wound.”
I am Susie Berteaux, friend of Diana and Doug, who has a blog of my own – “S&J’s Big Adventure(s).”
I guess, since I have my own blog, Diana thought that qualified me to be the substitute blogger while she and Doug are traveling the vast, beautiful and fascinating country of China. When she gets back, we will all be waiting for her discoveries of art, culture and …food. I hope you all will find my postings as interesting and educational as Diana’s.
For this posting, I will “GO FOR BROKE!” as I attended the 11th Annual Evening of Aloha Gala Dinner for the “Go for Broke National Education Center.”
The dinner was held at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in Los Angeles, CA. Almost 900 attendees gathered on the 2nd floor of the hotel, for an evening with the surviving Nisei veterans of the 100th Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, Military Intelligence Service (MIS) along with their families and friends. This dinner is an annual celebration of these Nisei men who contributed so much to prove their loyalty to the United States by volunteering to fight in the European and Pacific Theatres of World War II. The 100th Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and Military Intelligence Service (MIS) have become the most decorated military units in US history. Seeing all these men in their late 80s and early to mid 90’s who are our fathers, uncles, grandfathers and great grandfathers, who survived the loss of brothers, cousins and friends in battle far away from their families who were incarcerated in internment camps in some of the most desolate parts of the western United States, made me want to bring more awareness to anyone who is interested in loyalty, courage and love of family and country. The Go for Broke National Education Center is a wonderful place that does just that. I have copied some information from the Go for Broke National Education Center website to give you some information that has made me proud to be involved with such an organization.
Excerpts from the Go for Broke National Education Center website:
In 1986, Japanese American veterans who had served in segregated units during World War II decided to create an organization committed to keeping alive their legacy of rising above prejudice and distrust to serve their country with unparalleled bravery and distinction.
Spearheaded by Colonel (Ret.) Young Oak Kim and Buddy Mamiya, the veterans embarked on a mission to build a monument as a lasting memorial to the patriotic men who served their country, even though their country had turned its back on their families.
In 1989 the organization was formally incorporated as the 100th/442nd/MIS WWII Memorial Foundation. For ten years, the veterans led a grassroots campaign to raise funds for the monument, and to secure a location in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo district.
1998 was a watershed year as ground was broken for the monument, the Hanashi oral history program kicked off, and the organization held its first teacher training workshop.
Having completed their original mission of building the monument, the veterans established the Go For Broke National Education Foundation to focus on educational programs to preserve and perpetuate the veterans’ story.
….Over the years the organization has continued to develop its educational resources and outreach. We partnered with the Museum of Tolerance to tell the story of the Japanese American soldiers serving in the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion who were amongst the first to reach a Dachau sub-camp and render aid to the Jewish Holocaust survivors.
Our comprehensive video, “A Tradition of Honor,” paired with curriculum guides tailored to meet state standards, has provided the backbone for our teacher workshops.
In recent years, we have developed online curricula to support project based learning.
In 2006 we made a slight name change to the “Go For Broke National Education Center” to reflect our vision of nationwide educational outreach.
Today, we’ve completed over 1,100 veteran interviews, taught over 3,000 teachers and 100,000 students, and we continue to welcome tens of thousands of visitors to the Go For Broke Monument.
More interesting facts from the website:
Military Record of the Military Units
The Japanese American soldiers of WWII proved their loyalty through the sacrifices they made in service to their country, the United States. The decorations and awards they earned are a permanent and indisputable record of their bravery and their patriotism.
For its size and length of service, the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team was the most decorated US military unit.
|21 Medals of Honor (20 awarded on June 1, 2000)
|52 Distinguished Service Crosses (including 19 Distinguished Service Crosses which were upgraded to Medals of Honor in June 2000)
|559 Silver Stars with 28 Oak Leaf Clusters (in lieu of second Silver Star. One Silver Star was upgraded to a Medal of Honor in June 2000)
|8 Presidential Unit Citations
|1 Distinguished Service Medal
|22 Legion of Merit Medals
|15 Soldier’s Medals
|4,000 Bronze Stars with 1,200 Oak Leaf Clusters (in lieu of second Bronze Star)
|9,486 Purple Hearts
|12 French Croix de Guerre with 2 Palms (in lieu of a second award)
|2 Italian Crosses for Military Valor
|2 Italian Medals for Military Valor
The Military Intelligence Service (MIS) was credited as having “saved countless lives and shortened the war by two years” by Major General Willoughby, General McArthur’s Intelligence Chief.
|3 Distinguished Service Crosses
|5 Silver Stars
|1 Presidential Unit Citation (awarded June 30, 2000)
|5 Legion of Merit Medals
Note: On October 5, 2010, President Obama signed into law S. 1055, a bill to grant the Congressional Gold Medal, collectively, to the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442n Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service, United States Army, in recognition of their dedicated service during World War II.
I am humbled and proud of these Nisei men whose slogan was “Go for Broke” in war and in peace the Go for Broke National Education Center is “keeping alive their legacy of rising above prejudice and distrust to serve their country with unparalleled bravery and distinction.”