Lt. Gen. Mark Clark, commanding general, Fifth Army, and Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal inspect troops from the 100th Infantry Battalion. The troops were present as a guard of honor for Forrestal in Italy on Aug. 9, 1944. (Courtesy of Seattle Nisei Veterans Committee and U.S. Army via Densho)

Dear Editor:

Much love and respect for all JA veterans for their courage and sacrifices.

Memories from one Nikkei G.I., Wataru Monkawa, Honolulu, now deceased. Private, A Company, 442nd/100th Battalion. Purple Heart, American Defense Service Medal, Marksman Medal.

“When crack German units would pin us down, they wanted the Jap unit.

“When a minefield needed to be cleared, they wanted the Jap unit.

“When the Texas Lost Battalion had to be rescued and all else failed, they wanted the Jap unit.

“They gave us so many medals and gave our parents a folded flag for each son they lost.

“When we marched into Rome, they didn’t want the Jap unit in front for the media.

“When we came back, they weren’t hiring any Japs either. I gave away my medals in a poker game to make up for chips.”

David Monkawa

Los Angeles

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