From left: (front row) Hideo Hirata, Gil Ishizu, Cory Shiozaki, Mike Imahara, Gerry Kado, Gordon Hashimoto, Dennis Umade; (back row) John Masaki, Dean Mochinaga, Jin Quan, Frank Tanji, Mas Oshiro, George Iwamoto, John Kurokawa and Richard Yoshino.

On Nov. 5, the Orange County Sansei Singles hosted a Veterans Day luncheon for 15 members and invited Vietnam veterans honoring their military service to our country.

These Sansei Vietnam vets were never given a welcome home or a thank you for their service from a country that so ill-treated their families’ Nisei generation during World War II.

These Vietnam-era vets were treated to delicious food provided by Gardena Bowl Coffee Shop and Cherrystones restaurant. In addition, the event featured a special program created by filmmaker and Vietnam veteran Cory Shiozaki, paying tribute to the estimated 5,000 Sansei who served in this most unpopular war that spanned from 1955 to 1975 with the height of the war in the mid-1960s. 

Shiozaki’s film revealed a fact that is not widely known — 117 Sansei were killed in action and four received the Medal of Honor, three of them posthumously. This had a deep emotional impact on the attendees.

Following the film tribute, special recognition was given to former OCSS member Gordon T. Hashimoto for his bravery and gallantry. He was awarded the Silver Star, the highest honor given for bravery after the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross.

The event was capped off by personal stories from Sansei who served in the military during the Vietnam War.

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