386 – Dr. Maki – Go for Broke

This week’s show highlighted the legacy of Japanese American World War II service members through a conversation with Dr. Mitchell T. Maki, Executive Director of the Go For Broke National Education Center. This center, founded by veterans 35 years ago, aims to preserve the history and contributions of Japanese Americans, focusing on their extraordinary service during a period of severe discrimination following the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941. Despite facing forced relocation to internment camps, many Japanese Americans volunteered for military service, showcasing their unwavering loyalty and honor to the United States.

Dr. Maki emphasized the soldiers’ resilience, especially the “little men of iron” of the 100th Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, whose heroic efforts in Europe are legendary. They played key roles in breaking the Gothic Line, rescuing the Lost Battalion in France, and were recognized as the most highly decorated unit for their size in U.S. military history, earning 21 Medals of Honor.

Beyond combat, these soldiers contributed significantly as interpreters, translators, and intelligence officers in the Pacific, helping shorten the war and save lives. Their post-war efforts in Japan and leadership roles in Hawaii further exemplify their impact.

Despite their contributions, returning soldiers faced racism and prejudice, but remained determined to rebuild their lives and communities. Advocacy efforts eventually led to the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which apologized and provided reparations for the internment.

The “Go For Broke” mentality, a commitment to give one’s all despite adversity, encapsulates the spirit of these service members. The Go For Broke National Education Center continues to share their stories, inspiring future generations and preserving their legacy. Dr. Maki’s discussion underscores the importance of remembering these veterans’ sacrifices and contributions, inviting us to explore their enduring legacy and the center’s efforts to honor them. Go to https://goforbroke.org/ to learn more about these amazing Americans.

Thank you, Dr. Maki, for sharing with us!

Watch Dr. Maki talk Go For Broke on YouTube

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