Advocates for a U.S. postage stamp commemorating the Nisei soldiers of World War II have launched a website, www.theydeserveastamp.org.
The Go For Broke National Education Center and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Jeff MacIntyre (“The Legacy of Heart Mountain”) have teamed up for this campaign. The introductory video was recently screened at GFBNEC’s Evening of Aloha gala.
The video notes that there are already stamps honoring celebrities like Elvis Presley, Janis Joplin, Wilt Chamberlain and Mother Teresa (who “totally deserves it”); fictional characters like Batman, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer and Harry Potter; and plants and animals like watermelons, sweet corn, cantaloupes, tomatoes, ferns, penguins and the spoonbill.
The narration continues, “Who doesn’t have a commemorative U.S. stamp? Only the most decorated military unit in American history, earning over 9,000 Purple Hearts, 21 Medals of Honor, and fighting for freedom abroad while their own country imprisoned their families at home.
“Over 70 years ago, against great odds, they stepped up to proudly serve. Isn’t it time that we stand up for them? There is no group more deserving of a commemorative stamp than the brave Japanese American soldiers of World War II — true American heroes forever … Their sacrifice should never be forgotten.”
The website further states, “From Hawaii and from behind barbed wire on the mainland, young men volunteered for military service by the thousands. The U.S. Army put them in their own segregated units, the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Six thousand others served in the Military Intelligence Service.
“Originally seen as expendable cannon fodder, the combined 100th/442nd would defy all odds and become the most decorated unit in U.S. military history for its size and length of service. The Military Intelligence Service is credited with helping shorten the war by two years …
“This isn’t the first attempt to nominate this deserving group of Americans for a U.S. commemorative stamp. While it’s not the first time, we hope it will be the last.
“According to the USPS, ‘The Postal Service welcomes written suggestions for stamp subjects that help portray the diversity of the American experience for a worldwide audience.’ Stamps that ‘help portray the diversity of the American experience’? Is there a better example than the Japanese American soldiers of World War II?
“While there are 11 eligibility guidelines for all stamp recommendations … we feel this initiative passes the test … We are currently coordinating our efforts with organizations around the country as we prepare to launch this initiative.”
Supporters of the initiative are asked to visit the website and submit their email addresses to receive updates and learn what they can do to help. There is also a “They Deserve a Stamp” page on Facebook.
My husband Mitsuo Inouye, M.D., was in the Military Intelligence stationed at Tokyo, Japan, setting up telephone communications under General MacArthur. His older brother Ichiro Inouye, was in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team stationed at Camp Shelby, Miss. Both of them did two years of service.
My husband attended the University of California Medical School in San Francisco using the GI Bill of Rights and received his medical degree in 1953 He was in general practice in Culver City, CA for 55 years dying from kidney failure in 2008 at the age of 82.
My brother- in- law was a barber and mechanic. He died in 2014 at the age of 93.
My older brother, Calvin Harada, was in the army medical corp. for 2 years.
I think all of them will feel honored to be commemorated on the US Stamp for their service during World War II.
I was in Topaz, Utah Camp as a prisoner of war even though I was a third generation American. My mother was born in San Francisco in 1902. I was also born in San Francisco in 1929. I was in the camp for three years and could not return to California until the war was over. Lily Ann Inouye