Vincent Okamoto

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Vincent Peter Okamoto USA

Patriot under Fire. Okamoto is the most highly decorated (Distinguished Service Cross, a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts) Japanese-America to survive the war. On 24 August 1968, leading his platoon Lt. Okamoto fought off three reinforced North Vietnamese and Viet Cong companies using machine guns of three armored personnel carriers. He explains the patriotism of Japanese Americans, “. . . having been imprisoned behind barbed wire stockades, they still felt love of country . . . , [they] . . . felt it was their duty to go serve and fight for the very country that had confined them,” Okamoto said. “That’s part of the Japanese American experience in this country." As for his comrades in Vietnam,“. . .[T]heir infinite patience, their loyalty to each other, their courage under fire was just phenomenal, and you ask yourself, how does America produce young men like this? It’s something that’s unparalleled.” Okamoto is President of the Japanese American Vietnam War Veterans Memorial Committee and a Superior Court Judge in Los Angeles.

This is a "stump" essay which will be revisited when time permits.

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