June 26, 2018 U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, Honolulu
The US Coast Guard District 14 invited the NVL to speak about the WWII Nisei soldier story as part of its leadership and diversity initiative. Lynn Heirakuji, VP and Board Member, gave a presentation at an All Hands meeting on June 26, 2018, to a mostly military member audience. For many, it was their first time to hear about the Nisei soldiers. Lynn’s presentation covered the initial immigration of Japanese to Hawaii in the late 1800s, the impact of WWII on the US Japanese community, the creation of the various Nisei soldier units, and the Nisei post war legacy.
In line with the event’s leadership and diversity focus, Lynn touched upon how military leaders can harness cultural values and shared value systems to create high performing/combat ready units. The creation of the WWII Military Intelligence Service comprised of Nisei soldiers with good Japanese language and cultural skills is a good example of this.
The NVL has been actively presenting the Nisei soldier story to various local and Japanese audiences on Oahu. Because these men did not talk much about their wartime experiences, we feel that it is important to share their story on their behalf.