Get them now, or they’ll be gone.
The U.S. Postal Service will stop selling the Go For Broke Japanese American Soldiers of World War II Commemorative Postage Stamp sometime this year. The remaining inventory will be destroyed, postal sources shared with the Stamp Our Story Committee, the community group that led the fifteen-year campaign for the stamp.
All commemorative stamps are printed in limited quantities and sold for a limited time, typically one to two years. June of 2023 will mark two years since the Go For Broke Soldiers Stamp was issued, first in Los Angeles, California, on June 3, 2021. A stamp dedication ceremony was held at the Japanese American National Museum to mark the occasion, for which even President Joseph Biden made a special White House Statement. Similar events were held in eight other cities across the nation.
“We strongly encourage interested individuals and organizations in the community to buy up the remaining Go For Broke Soldiers Stamps — let’s sell out the stamp!” said Wayne Osako, chair of the Stamp Our Story Committee. “This is a wonderful way to show your support for the Nisei Soldiers legacy, and to send a message to Washington that more stories like ours ought to be shared.”
While the Postal Service makes it a policy of not discussing how many stamps they have left, nor sales figures, they have shared that they originally printed one million sheets (20 stamps per sheet) of the stamp. Sheets are still available online at USPS.com, for $12 per sheet at the going rate of 60¢ per stamp.
“We would love for the community to buy the stamps, particularly those whose loved ones and friends are Nisei Soldiers,” Osako said. “Once the stamps are gone, they are gone. The Postal Service does not reprint nor reissue commemorative stamps.”
In addition to the stamp sheets, the Postal Service is also selling a Go For Broke Soldiers Limited Edition Collectible Set for $39.95, which includes a color booklet on the history of the Nisei Soldiers. The set has rare photographs and a reprinting of the map of the late Nisei Veteran Lawson Sakai. A Go For Broke Soldiers Framed Stamp Art ($39.95) and collectible color envelope cachet with the stamp ($9.95) are also still being sold.
The USPS has not announced when it will cease selling the stamp and these items, so get them while you still can at the original price. Once the Postal Service stops selling them, the stamp resellers will step in and sell some, but raise prices.
Anyone can buy the stamp and legally resell them later, at their own price. They can also be resold as part of non-profit fundraising.
“Recently, some local organizations have sold the stamp as part of their auctions for fundraising,” Osako explained. “We encourage organizations to buy the stamp, use them, and resell or auction them for fundraising, so the community benefits from the stamp. The late founders of our campaign worked tirelessly so we could have this opportunity to remember our Nisei Veterans through the stamp.”
To continue to raise awareness of the Nisei Soldiers legacy this year and beyond, the Stamp Our Story Committee is releasing a short documentary film about the story behind the stamp. The 18-minute film, titled “Stamp Our Story: Honoring America’s Nisei Veterans,” is being submitted at various film festivals. The Films of Remembrance and DisOrient Film Festivals both recently announced that the documentary will be among their featured films this year.
The Committee is also urging people to keep sending letters of support to the USPS and to their congressional lawmakers asking the Postal Service to issue the Senator Inouye stamp. The late Senator was a Medal of Honor Recipient and a Go For Broke Veteran from the 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team.
In addition, the Committee is calling for organizations interested in holding a special event with the Go For Broke Soldiers Stamp pictorial postmark. Manzanar National Historic Site and the Poston Community Alliance both held such events with hundreds of participants to commemorate the Nisei Soldiers story. Interested organizations can reach out to the Committee for details.