Congressional Gold Medal awarded to Japanese-American WWII Veterans
November 3, 2011
Under Secretary of the Army HON Dr. Joseph W. Westphal thanks veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team for their patriotism and dedication. The United States Congress presented the Congressional Gold Medal, the United States' highest civilian award bestowed by Congress, to the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and Military Intelligence Service in recognition of their dedicated service during World War II.
The Japanese-American Soldiers of the three units being honored were also known as the "Go For Broke" regiment because of their "willingness to risk everything and go all-out to win." President Barack Obama signed the legislation honoring the Soldiers on Oct. 5, 2010. The bill was co-sponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who said Wednesday: "These American heroes did defend our freedoms and our ideals... even when these ideals were denied them at home."
About 19,000 Japanese-Americans who served in the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service were honored. Among those honored was Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), who lost his right arm while fighting with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.
The Congressional Gold Medal has been awarded to about 300 people since 1776, according the Congressional Research Service. "These men are incredible and what they went through represents the resiliency of our Army. They are an inspiration to us all," said Westphal.