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Sam Mitsui and Frank Nishimura Honored with a Brick at the SeaTac USO

by Walter Tanimoto
December 2019, Volume 69, Issue 11

The Nisei Veterans Committee (NVC) and the United Service Organization (USO) honored two Nisei Veterans on Saturday, 2 November 2019, as the Sam Mitsui and Frank Nishimura families gathered at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport USO.

Sam Mitsui had just completed basic training and waiting for assignment when WWII ended; he then served with the Counter Intelligence Corps during the occupation of Japan.  Sam was a mainstay at the NVC and in the community.  He regularly volunteered to speak at schools about his service and the incarceration of many Japanese Americans during WWII. He started the ACRS Walk for Rice and participated in many NVC, Blaine Methodist Church, and other community functions. The NVC reached out to Sam’s family on his selection for a USO brick and Sam was able to participate with his family on the design and verbiage on his brick.  Unfortunately, Sam passed away before his brick was mounted at the USO, but the NVC was happy and grateful to see Sam’s family gather to place his brick at the USO.

Frank “Junior” Nishimura served in B Company, 100th Infantry Battalion, of the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team during WWII.  Frank gained his nickname by the soldiers from Hawaii and being the youngest in the Company.  Today, many of us call Frank, “Mr. Nish”.  Some may remember when Mr. Nish was the Scout Master for Boy Scouts Troop 53 at the Japanese Baptist Church.  I will forever, or better yet, never live it down when Mr. Nish saw me struggling up Mount Whitney in California and took my ruck and carried it up to the top of the mountain.  Mr. Nish and the Nishimura family continue to give back to the NVC and community today.  

It’s the Nisei men and woman from the greatest generation who inspired some of us to serve in the United States Armed Forces or as first responders.  Their dedication to our communities inspires the members of the NVC and NVC Foundation today.  

We are forever inspired by their patriotism and accomplishments, and forever indebted for actions that paved the way for the follow-on generations.