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Commander's Column

by Walter Tanimoto
August 2019, Volume 69, Issue 7

Congratulations NVC on being selected for the Japan Foreign Minister’s Commendation for 2019!  Our selection for this commendation was treated like Top Secret information until the news release, and it was tough for us to keep this a secret while we waited for the release.  Read more about the Japan Foreign Ministers Commendation in this newsletter.

In July, Korean War veterans were remembered during the 66th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice.  The armistice was signed on 27 July 1953 in Panmunjom, creating a cease fire, and the subsequent Korean Defense was established in South Korea.

Our efforts in Korea are still ongoing.  On 2 August 2019, more than two dozen missing Korean War soldiers were identified from recovered remains and returned to the United States.  The identification of these heroes by Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) brings closure to families who have been in some cases waiting for decades for their loved ones to come home.  There are more than 82,000 Americans who fought in wars overseas and are missing in action. Of those, about half are believed to have been lost at sea, and more than 5,000 are believed to have died on the Korean Peninsula during the Korean War.

Do you remember the Christening of the United States Logistics Vessel Robert Kuroda, named after H Company, 442nd RCT and Medal of Honor recipient SSG Robert T. Kuroda?  On 21 May 2003, the USLV Kuroda was christened by Robert Kuroda’s sister Betty. The USLV Kuroda is a General Frank S. Besson-class Logistics Support Vessel (LSV).  LSV’s are the largest powered watercraft in the United States Army.   On 11 July 2019 the U.S. Army announced it would be divesting many of its logistics vessels to include the Kuroda. However, late in July, the announcement was pulled, so the Kuroda has been saved to fight another day.  SSG Kuroda was killed in France on 20 Oct 1944 by a sniper while trying to take out a German machine-gun nest near Bruyeres during the rescue of Texas' "Lost Battalion." He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross which is the nation's second-highest medal for valor.  The award was later upgraded to the Medal of Honor.

As a nation we remember key dates and events as we celebrate anniversaries, beginnings, and endings.  As veterans and families of veterans we also understand how very important it is to honor and preserve the legacy of the men and women veterans who answered the call to duty, taking the fight to the enemies of our great nation, and defending our freedom and the rights we exercise and enjoy today.

It’s an honor to be the Commander of the Nisei Veterans Committee.