Lawmakers urge stamp to honor nisei
Two state lawmakers -- Rep. John Mizuno and Sen. Les Ihara Jr. -- are sponsoring resolutions urging the U.S. Postal Service to issue a stamp honoring the more than 20,000 American World War II veterans of Japanese heritage. The resolutions supports a petition drive to gather signatures statewide for a commemorative nisei stamp.
Mizuno, the son and nephew of nisei veterans, said awareness of the historic significance of the Japanese-American soldiers of World War II has grown in recent years as a result of a grass-roots effort led by relatives and friends of these veterans in California.
Ihara said the effort is not unprecedented. He noted that the U.S. Postal Service previously issued stamps honoring other brave and distinguished minority veterans groups, including Hispanic Americans in 1984 and African-American Buffalo soldiers in 1994.
Letters of support should be sent to the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee; c/o Stamp Development; U.S. Postal Service; 1735 North Lynn St., Suite 5013; Arlington, VA 22209-6432.
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Pacific Air Forces will hold its first total-force humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise, known as Pacific Lifeline, Jan. 20 to Feb. 9 at three locations: Hickam Air Force Base, Kona International Airport and Barking Sands Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai. About 900 Department of Defense personnel will participate in the exercise, which will be led by the 13th Air Force. Its purpose is to train and integrate Air Force and Army active-duty, Air National Guard and reserve component forces to respond to a real humanitarian crisis or national disaster in the Pacific region.
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The Military Reserves Retiree Association will hold its bimonthly meeting at 10 a.m. Jan. 19 at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific main office. Attendees will be informed about burial benefits and will tour the cemetery. The meeting is open to retired military personnel and their spouses. For further information, contact Larry Marcum at 261-8752.
If you have questions about your benefits as a veteran, call Fred Ballard at the Veterans Affairs at 433-0049 or visit the VA Web site at www.va.gov/hawaii
or the Star-Bulletin at 529-4747.