Monday, May 25, 2009
My dad was born in the township that became the city I worked for as a police officer for 26 years. After President Roosevelt signed the executive order that authorized the mass incarceration of 110,00 Japanese Americans in 1942, he was pulled out a few months before he could graduate from Washington High School.
He and his parents, his two other sisters and little brother were first sent to Tanforan Racetrack while the Internment camps were being set up. He described how everyone had to stuff hay into sacks for beds and the smell of horse manure was horrible during the warm weeks he was there.
He and his family were then shipped to Topaz with the few pounds of allowed belongings they could bring from home. Even after all this, like many other Japanese American men, he joined the Armed Forces and served in Germany during the war.
When he returned to California, after the war, he got married to my mom and tried to find a job. Even though he wore his service uniform with service medals to job interviews, time after time, he was told, "We don't hire Japs here." The US Army offered him a job at the Presidio in San Francisco as a civilian comptroller. That lead an assignment for him to aid in establishing the US Army Headquarters in Japan. So that is how I came to live in Japan at the age of 11 months. My dad continued to work for the Army for 35 years and is now retired and living in California. Thank you dad for everything. Living on an Army base all those years, I've really come to appreciate the Armed Forces. Thank you all who serve and have served our country.