Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, attended the unveiling of the Medal of Honor wall plaque for Hawaii National Guard soldiers at the National Guard Association of the United States headquarters.
In 2000, eight members of the Hawaii National Guard were awarded with Medals of Honor for their unwavering valor and service in World War II, and in 2011, an additional Hawaii guardsman was recognized for his bravery in Korea.
- Mikio Hasemoto, Private, USA, WWII-Italy
- Shizuya Hayashi, Private, USA, WWII-Italy
- Yeiki Kobashigawa, Technical Sergeant, USA, WWII-Italy
- Kaoru Moto, Private First Class, USA, WWII-Italy
- Masato Nakae, Private, USA, WWII-Italy
- Shinyei Nakamine, Private, USA, WWII-Italy
- Allan M. Ohata, Staff Sergeant, USA, WWII-Italy
- Anthony T. Kahoohanohano, Private First Class, USA, Korea
- Francis Brown Wai, Captain, USA, WWII-Philippines
“These men were the finest Hawaii has to offer,” Hanabusa said, “and we can all be proud that their service and bravery earned them the highest award our nation can give. I had the opportunity to attend the Medal of Honor ceremony at the White House in 2000, and it was especially heartwarming for me to see two heroes from my hometown of Waianae, Mr. Yeiki Kobashigawa and Mr. Shinyei Nakamine, be honored with the nation’s highest award for valor.
“The citizen soldiers of our National Guard stand shoulder to shoulder with every other man and woman who wears the uniform and serves our country in times of need. Their sacrifice proves that no challenge is too great, and we know that no thanks is enough. I am pleased that the National Guard is recognizing this extraordinary group of gentlemen.”
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who enlisted in the Hawai‘i Army National Guard in 2003 and currently serves as Military Police Captain, said: “The Hawai‘i Army National Guard has a proud and deep history of selfless service to our country, and these nine Medal of Honor recipients exemplify the core values we strive for. Their recognition at the NGAUS Medal of Honor gallery is a fitting tribute to these heroes who raised their hands to serve our nation in combat. Now, people from across the country who visit the gallery will be able to further appreciate the sacrifices of Hawai‘i’s bravest soldiers.
“Earlier this month, we again saw the bravery and selflessness shown by a Hawai‘i Guardsman, Sergeant Drew Scobie of Kailua who was killed in action in Afghanistan. As we honor those guardsmen who served in WWII and Korea, Drew’s ultimate sacrifice should serve as a reminder of the continued hardships our servicemembers are facing overseas today, and the families who support them every day.”