Remembrance of Senator Dan Inouye’s Punchbowl Memorial Service
By Grace Tsubata Fujii
December 23, 2012, Sunday: WWII AJA 100Bn/442RCT/MIS/1399thBn veterans and families (Limited to 100) were accorded VIP treatment at Senator Daniel K. Inouye’s memorial service at the National Memorial of the Pacific (Punchbowl). We reported at 6:00 am to the 100th Battalion Veterans Clubhouse. An hour later boarded 2 buses arriving at Punchbowl around 7:30 bypassing other waiting vehicles without our having to go through mandatory body checks at the entrance as other guests. Was shocked that we had special 442 RCT seating and able to view the ceremony so well. Glad our sturdy veterans weathered their long 8 hour day. Huge Appreciation to Command Sgt. Major Beau Tatsumura for coordinating with senator’s office in securing this security clearance with VIP status.
There was a huge group of 100Bn/442RCT Army reservists on duty hovering over the veterans and families, offering water bottles, escorting us to potty breaks and inquiring as to our well-being, making sure we were comfortable, passing sun-screen lotion, holding umbrellas to shield us from the hot sun. You could tell that they were enjoying their duties as much as we appreciated their concerns and reassurance. The EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) reservist returned time and again to check on the veterans. So caring. Huge Mahalo to these gentlemen also.