This U.S commemorative postage stamp originated from family and friends of American soldiers like these…
From all backgrounds and from all parts of our Nation….
And even from overseas in France!
We sincerely thank all individuals, and organizations, who have supported this campaign both formally and informally.
Over the 15 year campaign, many of the Go For Broke veterans, and their family and friends who participated in the stamp effort, are no longer with us.
Please join us as we remember them.
Support for the Go For Broke Soldiers stamp has come from everyday people at the local level, all the way up to responsive lawmakers who joined opposing political party members and publicly stated their support for this effort.
We encourage you to reach out to your lawmakers who supported this effort and thank them for their help.
In the following list, we attempt to recognize the many individuals and groups who supported the campaign to get the Go For Broke Soldiers Stamp in the past, when the proposal to get the stamp was just an idea that we rallied for. We are so grateful for each of you who stood up to get this stamp when nothing was certain.
NOTE: Please contact us for omissions and corrections –we have made our best effort to be comprehensive but sincerely apologize that we may have inadvertently made mistakes and overlooked some individuals and organizations.
91 Bipartisan Members of Congress
7 State Assemblies
100+ Local Officials, Community Organizations
Citizens and Officials from France
2 Consul Generals of Japan
Veterans Groups and Veterans Family Organizations
Numerous members of veterans groups and sons and daughters of veterans organizations have played the crucial roles at the grassroots level to support the stamp effort over the years, both informally and formally.
Most members participated on different levels in gathering petition signatures and letters of support. They also spread the word about the stamp campaign by word of mouth.
We appreciate all of the support to help make this stamp a reality!
The true origin of the campaign is with family and friends of the Go For Broke Soldiers.
Campaign founders Fusa Takahashi and the late Chiz Ohira are both widows of Go For Broke veterans. Co-founder Aiko O. King is a good friend of many veterans and their family members.
They launched the campaign through handwritten letters of support and hand signed petitions from family and friends, who in turn passed them along to more family members and friends.
From here, the campaign took off to reach across the nation, and around the world to France.
We would like to highlight the steadfast support and encouragement from the Japanese American Veterans Association (JAVA) since the early years of the campaign.
The JAVA leadership and JAVA family have been the best of friends to the Stamp Our Story campaign from the beginning. Gerald Yamada and 100th/442nd veteran Terry Shima have been especially helpful. One highlight was the key assistance from Eileen Roulier, Mr. Shima’s daughter, and her family and friends here and in France, such as Gerome Villain and Hervè Claudon. Ms. Roulier spearheaded the successful campaign to document support from French citizens and officials. We are forever grateful.
Veterans organizations who have participated include the Go For Broke National Education Center, Nisei Veterans Memorial Center, Nisei Veterans Legacy, 100th Infantry Battalion Education Center, Nisei Veterans Network, Hawaii Army Museum, Hawaii Nisei Project, U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii, Veterans Memorial Court Alliance.
Veterans family organizations include the Sons and Daughters of the 442nd, 100th Club, 100th/442nd Veterans Association, Mr. Ron Oba and Mr. Bill Thompson and members of the 442nd Veterans Club, 1399th Club, 36th Infantry Division Association, Hawaii Plantation Village, Maui AJA Veterans, Military Officers Association, MIS Club of SoCal, MIS Veterans Club, Oahu AJA Veterans Council, Friends and Family of Nisei Veterans.
We appreciate all of the support from VFW Posts during the campaign. We would like to highlight the vital help from Mr. James Nakamura, Mr. Nori Uyematsu, Mr. Roger Enomoto, and Mr. Ken Hayashi, and the friends and family of the Kazuo Masuda VFW Memorial Post 3670 in Garden Grove, California.
We would also like to highlight help from the friends and family of the Hanford Veterans of Foreign Wars, Nisei Liberty Post No. 5869 in Hanford, California.
We would like to highlight the prominent support from Mr. Tim Yuge and Mr. Robert Horsting, and the Hanashi Oral History Program, for their vital assistance in the campaign. They helped as members of the stamp campaign organizing committee, and they were central to a video interview project with campaign cofounders Fusa Takahashi and Aiko King.
We would like to highlight the help and encouragement of Mr. Eric Saul. Mr. Saul’s speech, “In Defense of Liberty: Japanese American Soldiers of World War II” (2001), was an inspiration to the Stamp Our Story founders and supporters since the start of the campaign. Founders Fusa, Aiko, and Chiz were often passing out printed copies of his speech to prospective stamp campaign supporters to explain about the Nisei Soldiers in the early years of the stamp movement. We are grateful for ALL of Mr. Saul’s work to help the Nisei veterans and the whole Japanese American community. We are inspired by all of his past and continuing work, including in support of other human rights issues.
We would like to highlight special letters of support for the Go For Broke stamp from the following organizations:
National Association for Uniformed Services
We appreciate the letter of support from NMVA Co-Directors Deirdre M. Parke Holleman and Richard Jones.
Ms. Christine Sato-Yamazaki and the Go For Broke National Education Center provided important early assistance in 2006-2007. Campaign cofounder, the late Chiz Ohira, and her husband, the late Ted Ohira (442nd RCT, H Co.) were among the founding members of the Center and were active as volunteers there. Mr. Ohira was a founding board member of GFBNEC. Family members and friends at Go For Broke NEC were among the earliest petition signers in support of the stamp. Ms. Sato-Yamazaki and the Center assisted in the first press conference for the stamp campaign, which announced backing from Rabbi Abraham Cooper and the Simon Wiesenthal Center. We send our heartfelt thanks to Rabbi Cooper and the Simon Wiesenthal Center for their kind support of our efforts!
The Go For Broke NEC, with Mr. Don Nose, would later send a letter of support for the stamp effort to the Postal Service, and help to launch a sister campaign, called They Deserve A Stamp, with documentary film producer Jeff MacIntyre.
We are forever grateful for all of the help from veterans groups and veterans family organizations to secure the Go For Broke Soldiers Stamp!
Special Notes of Thanks…
We would like to highlight prominent support from Utah State Senator Jani Iwamoto, whose late father was a Go For Broke veteran.
Sen. Iwamoto led the effort to support the stamp in her state, which included the help of lawmakers at multiple levels (and on both sides of the aisle), and the unanimous state resolution in 2017 to support the stamp.
We sincerely thank all of the state sponsors of Utah’s resolution: Chief Sponsor: Sen. Jani Iwamoto; House Sponsor: Rep. Dean Sanpei; Cosponsors: J. Stuart Adams, Curtis S. Bramble, D. Gregg Buxton, Jim Dabakis, Gene Davis, Margaret Dayton, Luz Escamilla, Lincoln Fillmore, Wayne A. Harper, Daniel Hemmert, Deirdre M. Henderson, Lyle W. Hillyard, David P. Hinkins, Don L. Ipson, Karen Mayne, Ann Miller, Ralph Okerlund, Brian E. Shiozawa, Jerry W. Stevenson, Daniel W. Thatcher, Kevin T. Van Tassell, and Evan J. Vickers.
A special thanks for the letters of support from Congressional Reps. Rob Bishop (R-Brigham City), Chris Stewart (R-Farmington), Jason Chaffetz (R-Alpine), Mia Love (R- Saratoga Springs), Sens. Orrin Hatch (R) and Mike Lee (R), Gov. Gary Herbert (R), and Attorney General Sean Reyes.
“The issuance of this stamp would be a small, but important step in recognizing those worthy of praise, and in making certain the injustices of our past are never replicated in our nation’s future.”
Gov. Gary Herbert
Sen. Iwamoto also reached out to lawmakers in other states, and organizations of Asian American and Pacific Islander state lawmakers, that resulted in help nationwide. We also highlight the help from members of Utah’s JACL Chapters, that included documentation of support for the state resolution from all four chapters in Utah. We would also like to thank the Topaz Museum. Jane Beckwith, and Museum members, for their assistance in the campaign.
Efforts from Sen. Iwamoto and others also led to a letter of support from the regional Consul General of Japan, Mr. Hiroto Hirakoba. We sincerely thank Consul General Hirakoba for his assistance.
We would like to highlight the prominent help from the many supporters from Hawaii.
Key formal and informal assistance was received from members of veterans/veterans family groups and other organizations. A list of participants include the following:
100th/442nd Veterans Association
Mr. Ron Oba and Mr. Bill Thompson and the 442nd Club
Friends and Family of Nisei Veterans
Hawaii Nisei Legacy
Hawaii Nisei Project
Hawaii Plantation Village
Maui AJA Veterans
Military Officers Association – Aloha Chapter
MIS Veterans Club
Oahu AJA Veterans Council
VFW Posts of Hawaii
Sons and Daughters of the 442nd RCT
We would like to highlight that the City of Honolulu passed a resolution in support of the Go For Broke Soldiers stamp. The campaign received backing from Councilman Charles Djou and Mayor Mufi Hannemann there. Maui County Mayor Charmaine Tavares also supported the stamp effort. We sincerely thank these local leaders in Hawaii for standing up to help the stamp!
Some of the earliest encouragement and support was from the late Senators Daniel K. Inouye and Daniel Akaka. We especially thank Frank Kelly of Sen. Inouye’s office for his advice and enthusiasm.
Former Hawaii Lt. Governor Duke Aiona was also vocal in expressing his backing for the stamp proposal, and led to letters of support to the Postal Service from him and former Governor Linda Lingle.
Special thanks to Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Honolulu), the late Mark Takai (D-Honolulu), Neil Abercrombie (D-Honolulu). Sens. Mazie Hirono (D) and Brian Schatz (D), and Gov. David Ige (D), for rallying letters of support.
In 2009, Hawaii citizens and lawmakers, spearheaded by State Rep. John Mizuno and State Sen. Les Ihara Jr., pushed for the Hawaii state resolution in support of the stamp.
2016 Letter from Congress
The late Hawaii Congressman Mark Takai championed a congressional letter of support in 2016. Rep. Takai’s letter was co-authored by Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27). Rep. Takai’s letter was a co-signed by 34 members of Congress on May 2nd, 2016. The letter was centered on the Congressional Asian American and Pacific Islander Caucus, led by Rep. Chu at the time. We would like to highlight the help of Rep. Takai’s staff members, especially Ms. Kana Smith.
The following 34 members co-signed Rep. Takai’s May 2nd letter (in alphabetical order):
Karen Bass …… Julia Brownley …… Judy Chu …… Susan Davis …… Mark DeSaulnier …… Anna Eshoo …… Sam Farr …… Tulsi Gabbard …… Raul Grijalva …… Denny Heck …… Mike Honda …… Derek Kilmer …… Mark Takai …… Doris Matsui …… Barbara Lee …… Ted Lieu …… Zoe Lofgren …… Alan Lowenthal …… Jim McDermott …… Gregory Meeks …… Grace Napolitano …… Scott Peters …… Loretta Sanchez …… Adam Schiff …… Adam Smith …… Jackie Speier …… Eric Swalwell …… Mark Takano …… Dina Titus …… Chris Van Hollen …… Nydia Velazquez.
Mazie Hirono (HI) ….. Brian Schatz (HI) ….. Ron Wyden (OR).
“These Japanese American families were targeted for incarceration solely because of their ethnicity. We must honor these brave Americans with a stamp that will continue to remind us of their courage, loyalty, and undying patriotism to the United States. This stamp will also serve as a constant reminder that civil liberties belong to us all — not just a select few.”
Rep. Mark Takai
Hawaii’s Governor David Ige Pens Letter of Support (2016)
Gov. David Ige spoke out in support of the stamp campaign. Gov. Ige’s father was Tokio “Bobby” Ige, a 442nd Regimental Combat Team veteran who was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his service during World War II . We would like to highlight the assistance of Gov. Ige’s staff members, especially Ms. Claire Cozad.
The following is an excerpt from Gov. Ige’s letter:
“Much has been written to document the heroics of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the 100th Infantry Battalion, the most decorated outfit in the history of American Military. The regiment and battalion were comprised primarily of AJA [Americans of Japanese Ancestry], many whose families were confined in internment camps in the U.S. while they were engaging in combat in various European warfronts…. We humbly request your consideration of this historic commemorative stamp on behalf of the State of Hawai’i and the families of these American heroes.
Governor David Ige
We would like to highlight the persistent and bold community activism by Ms. Carole Herhold, of Chicago, Illinois, who sparked local efforts in Illinois to support the stamp campaign over a number of years, starting in 2007.
Her efforts led to Congressman Mike Quigley‘s letter of support, and the 2007 Illinois state resolution with House Sponsors: Reps. Constance A. Howard, William B. Black, Paul D. Froehlich, Jack D. Franks, Mike Boland, Elaine Nekritz, Greg Harris, and Michael P. McAuliffe. Ms. Herhold called in to Rep. Howard’s talk show, where she asked for her help to get support for the stamp campaign, which led to action by the state legislature.
Ms. Herhold also wrote letters to editors of local newspapers, gathered petition signatures in her community and sent many letters of support to the Postal Service. Though Ms. Herhold had no familial ties with the Japanese American community, she felt strongly on a personal level to help.
“Helping remember the sacrifice and service of these young men is the right thing to do.”
-Carole Herhold of Chicago, Illinois
We would also like to thank the members of the Chicago Chapter of the JACL, Bill Yoshino and the Midwest JACL District Council, who also helped in the campaign. Mr. Yoshino and others gave important testimony leading to the success of the Illinois state resolution that supported the stamp effort.
Special thanks to Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Chicago) for his letter of support.
We would like to highlight support from Commander Bob Hashimoto of the American Legion for his help in Chicago!
We would like to thank the Organization of Chinese Americans – Greater Chicago Chapter for voicing their support for the stamp.
We would like to highlight the efforts of Dr. Linda Tamura and members of the Portland JACL, who were especially instrumental over the years in gathering support for the stamp. We appreciate the support of Debby Chenoweth and the History Museum of Hood River County to help document support for this effort as well.
We appreciate the assistance of the Minoru Yasui Legacy Project.
In 2009, supporters in Oregon pushed for a state resolution for the Go For Broke Soldiers stamp.
Special thanks to Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden for their April 2009 cosigned letter of support. We also appreciate Congressman Greg Walden (R-Hood River) and Senator Ron Wyden (D) for their subsequent letters of support in 2016.
We also send our appreciation to Rep. David Wu (D-Beaverton) for cosigning the 2009 congressional letter of support for the stamp.
We would like to highlight the support from Mr. Yuzo Tokita and the Seattle Nisei Veterans Committee and Foundation.
We sincerely thanks the help from the Seattle JACL, Puyallup JACL, and Spokane JACL members for leading efforts there to get support for the stamp.
We would like to highlight the support of Mr. Ken Sato and the Japanese Community Service of Seattle.
We appreciate the help of Linda Beacon, and the 1st Special Service Forces of World War II Veterans organization.
In 2009, campaign supporters in Washington pushed for a state resolution in support of the stamp.
Special thanks to Reps. Denny Heck (D-Olympia), Derek Kilmer (D-Tacoma), Jim McDermott (D-Seattle), Adam Smith (D-Bellevue) for cosigning congressional letters of support (2009, 2016).
We also appreciate the vital help from former State Rep. Sylvia Laughter (Navajo Code Talker Memorial Foundation) in the Arizona resolution in 2007. The resolution, which featured Navajo Code Talkers, Tuskegee Airmen, and the Nisei soldiers, was groundbreaking for the campaign. It was the first state resolution to include the Japanese American World War II soldiers on a postage stamp of their own, and led other states to do the same.
Special thanks to Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Tuscon) for his letter of support.
The congressional delegation from Alaska voiced strong support for the Go For Broke Soldiers stamp proposal. Here are the letters that were sent to the U.S. Postmaster General, and a special thanks to them all:
Rep. Don Young (AK-01), a Republican, voiced support on September 9th, 2016.
Senator Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), a Republican, voiced her support on August 15, 2016.
Senator Dan Sullivan (Alaska), a Republican, voiced his support on June 30, 2016.
We would like to highlight the pivotal support of Dr. Brian Yamamoto, of Fairbanks, Alaska. He spearheaded efforts to get the Alaska congressional delegation to voice support.
“Many Americans, including Members of Congress, have expressed their desire that the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee issue a postage stamp to honor our nation’s Nisei veterans of World War II. I wholeheartedly join in this effort….I encourage you to not only support this request, but to champion this opportunity to honor the Nisei and the best of the American spirit.”
Sen. Lisa Murkowski
Stamp Our Story was formally started in 2005 in California by three Japanese American women: Fusa Takahashi, Aiko O. King, and the late Chiz Ohira. Over the years many individuals, organizations, and lawmakers from across the vast state joined in support of the stamp.
We would like to highlight the support of
Alhambra City Mayor Gary Yamauchi,
Monterey Park Mayor Betty Tom Chu,
Councilman Stan Yonemoto,
and Councilman Frank Venti,
who each provided critical help and encouragement in the earliest years of the stamp effort.
We would also like to highlight
Congressman Adam Schiff
who was also among the earliest congressional lawmakers to speak out in support of the Go For Broke Soldiers stamp proposal.
Many California Japanese American Citizens League chapters and their members have helped the campaign over the years.
Stamp Our Story cofounder Ms. King was an active member of the Ventura JACL, which was the first JACL chapter to help the stamp. Former Chapter Presidents Anne Chilcott and Jeff Kunisaki, along with members Betty Katsura, Judy Tanaka, Ken and Joanne Nakano, George and Betty Wakiji, among others, have been the best of friends to Aiko King and the stamp campaign.
We would also like to recognize stamp campaign volunteers such as Mildred and Henry Ikemoto, and Laura Shigemitsu. They helped the campaign at outreach events such as the Camarillo Japanese American Festival. Henry was a 100th/442nd RCT and MIS veteran of WW2. We are forever grateful for the assistance.
We would like to recognize Byron Shibata of Huntington Beach, who was also one of the early volunteers who assisted in the campaign. Notably, he helped get petition signatures at the Cherry Blossom Festival in 2007, as well as other petition support and outreach over the years.
For the California State Resolution alone in 2008, six JACL groups stepped forward to voice support for the resolution:
Diablo Valley Chapter
San Francisco Chapter
San Jose Chapter
Watsonville-Santa Cruz Chapter
Central California District Council
Pacific Southwest District Council.
When they were alive, Ms. Ohira and her husband Ted Ohira (442, H Co.) were active in the early years of the stamp campaign at the Go For Broke National Education Center. Many of the members and volunteers at the Center, including the family members and friends of the Go For Broke veterans there, were among the earliest supporters of the stamp.
The first Congressional letter of support for the Go For Broke Soldiers stamp was championed by Congressman Mike Honda of California in June 2009.
The cosigned letter was pivotal for the stamp campaign. It was backed by the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus at the time. This was the first time that the stamp campaign gained visibility in Congress. It would lead to later bipartisan congressional letters of support. We are forever grateful to Rep. Honda, and all of the lawmakers who cosigned this first letter from Capitol Hill.
“These soldiers overcame racial hatred at home, served honorably overseas, and helped change the course of history with their bravery. This postage stamp will commemorate their unparalleled contributions to our country….”
Rep. Mike Honda, 2009
Below you can read the text of the letter, as well as see a list of the 43 signers:
American Samoa: Eni Faleomavaega (D-American Samoa)
Arizona: Raul Grijalva (D-Tucson)
California: Joe Baca (D-Los Angeles), Xavier Becerra (D-Redlands), Howard Berman (D-Burbank), Ken Calvert (R-Riverside), Lois Capps (D-San Luis Obispo), Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento), Mike Honda (D-Santa Clara), Susan Davis (D-San Diego), Bob Filner (51-San Diego), Zoe Lofgren (D-Santa Clara), Sam Farr (D-Monterey), George Miller (D-Contra Costa), Grace Napolitano (D-San Gabriel), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Los Angeles), Ed Royce (R-Orange), Linda Sanchez (D-Los Angeles), Loretta Sanchez (D-Anaheim), Adam Schiff (D-Glendale), Hilda Solis (D-Baldwin Park), Pete Stark (D-Alameda), Lynn Woolsey (D-Marin), Ed Perlmutter (D-Golden)
Colorado: Mark Udall (D-Lafayette)
Connecticut: John Larson (D-East Hartford)
Florida: Alcee Hastings (D-Weston)
Hawaii: Neil Abercrombie (D-Honolulu), Mazie Hirono (D-Honolulu)
Minnesota: Betty McCollum (D-Saint Paul)
New York: Joe Crowley (D-Brooklyn), Maurice Hinchey (D-Utica), Carolyn Maloney (D-Bronx), Gary Ackerman (D-Queens)
Oregon: David Wu (D-Beaverton)
Pennsylvania: Joe Sestak (D-South Whitehall Township)
Rhode Island: Patrick Kennedy (D-Providence)
Texas: Al Green (D-Houston)
Virginia: Bobby Scott (D-Newport News)
Washington: Jim McDermott (D-Seattle), Adam Smith (D-Bellevue)
Wisconsin: Gwen S. Moore (D-Milwaukee)
Guam: Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam)
A special thanks to the following California lawmakers who sent letters of support over the years (many of whom also cosigned the 2009 Honda Letter):
Reps. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles), Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles), Julia Brownley (D-Oak Park), Ken Calvert (R-Corona), Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park), Paul Cook (R-Yucca Valley), Susan Davis (D-San Diego), Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), Anna Eshoo (D-Atherton), Sam Farr (D-Carmel), Mike Honda (D-San Jose), Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale), Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose), Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento), Grace Napolitano (D-Norwalk), Scott Peters (D-La Jolla), Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach), Ed Royce (R-Fullerton), Loretta Sanchez (D-Anaheim), Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough), Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin), Mark Takano (D-Riverside), Mimi Walters (R-Irvine). Sens. Barbara Boxer (D) and Dianne Feinstein (D). Gov. Jerry Brown (D).
Prominent help from grassroots upstanders, such as Ms. Doris Dias of Riverdale, California in the Central Valley, have been key to the campaign from the start.
“So many gave their lives when they could’ve not volunteered and could’ve stayed in the encampment. No, they wanted to prove that they were loyal Americans. What really upsets me is that (the Postal Service) has never recognized these people for being loyal to their country, which is my country, despite the fact that their families were put in detention camps because of their ancestry.”
Doris Dias, Riverdale, CA, 2009
The following are some of the California lawmakers at the local level, as well as various California organizations, that publicly helped support the stamp effort, through various formal and informal ways (mainly resolutions, letters of support, and petitions):
Former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
LA County Board of Supervisors Resolutions (led by Mr. Mike Antonovich, Mr. Don Knabe, and LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis)
LA City Councilman Kevin De Leon
City of Los Angeles Resolutions
City of Alhambra Resolution
City of Monterey Park Resolution
City of Port Hueneme Resolution (led by Mr. Murray Rosenbluth)
City of San Gabriel Resolution
City of El Monte Resolution
City of West Covina Resolution
City of Gardena Resolution
CA Independent Cities Association Resolution (led by Mr. Frank Venti)
Consul General of Japan, The Honorable Jun Yamada
OCA Greater Los Angeles Chapter
OCA Greater Sacramento Chapter
Chinese American Elected Officials Organization
Japanese American Living Legacy
MIS Club of Southern California
Nikkei Women Legacy Association
We sincerely thank Japan Consul General Jun Yamada and his staff members, especially Mr. Yoshiro Tasaka.
We also thank Dr. Karen Korematsu and the Fred T. Korematsu Institute for their support for this cause. Stamp Our Story Committee members met with Dr. Korematsu at the 2016 Heart Mountain Pilgrimage.
California State Assembly Voices Support
Stamp Our Story founder Fusa Takahashi spearheaded the campaign for a California state resolution in support of the stamp in 2008. We would like to highlight the support of State Rep. Mike Eng, who led the effort in the California State Assembly, and then State Sen. Kevin de Leòn testified on behalf of Stamp Our Story for the state resolution.
Photos from the 2008 California State Resolution effort
Governor Jerry Brown Pens Letter of Support
Gov. Brown was the first governor to voice support for the stamp effort. Through grassroots efforts spearheaded by Ms. Lynn Franklin, daughter of campaign founder Fusa Takahashi, and their family members, friends, and colleagues, they were able to secure this important correspondence from the governor of the most populous state in the U.S.
“On behalf of the State of California, I respectfully urge you to approve a commemorative stamp to honor the patriotism exhibited by Japanese Americans during World War II. This stamp will help preserve the memory and help educate and promote dialogue on this important part of our history for generations to come.”
Governor Jerry Brown, 2016
Rep. Honda’s 2010 Open Letter to the USPS
It is important to note that Congressman Mike Honda wrote an open letter to the Postmaster General and Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee in 2010 to explain the inequities in the Postal Service topics of stamps, which largely have excluded Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) history. Rep. Honda was chair of the AAPI Congressional Caucus at the time. The USPS, it is rumored, used to consider its annual Lunar New Year stamps to be its nod to AAPIs, with rarely a need to venture into any other areas. Since 2010, the USPS has made some improvements in AAPI coverage, with subjects like Japanese American artist Ruth Asawa (2020) and the Diwali Festival (2016). In 2021, the USPS will also release a stamp featuring American nuclear physicist Chien-Shiung Wu.
“Since the Committee’s inception, only 43 Asian American and Pacific Islander themed stamps have been issued. This does not do justice to the rich diversity of this community and the myriad contributions this community has made.”
Rep. Mike Honda
Examples of Additional Congressional Letters from California
Rep. Paul Cook (CA-08), a Republican, sent a letter of support for the stamp on May 17, 2016.
We would like to highlight the encouragement and support for the campaign from Kammi Foote and Chuck Levin. Rep. Cook wrote a letter of support, which highlighted the Nisei military service during the war from those who came from Manzanar incarceration center, which is located in his congressional district.
“As a representative of California, I have been able to personally visit the Manzanar incarceration site located in my district…. For those who haven’t learned this history, a commemorative stamp could stimulate their curiosity and engagement, leading to a deeper understanding of the historical implications of this consequential event.”
Col. Paul Cook (Ret.), U.S. House of Representatives
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48), a Republican, voiced support on September 9th, 2016.
We would like to highlight the prominent support from Mary Urashima and Historic Wintersburg for playing vital roles in securing Rep. Rohrabacher’s letter of support, and for all other campaign help over the years. We encourage you to look at Ms. Urashima’s ongoing efforts to preserve the inspiring and important local history in the Historic Wintersburg campaign, named a National Treasure in 2015, and one of America’s Most Endangered Historic Places in 2015. This historic building housed an early Presbyterian Church that was home to a prewar Japanese American community in Huntington Beach, California, now threatened with destruction by developers.
We would also like to highlight important early contributions to the stamp movement in California by individuals. Byron Shibata helped at the Cherry Blossom Festival petition drive in 2007, and reached out to his friends and colleagues. Friends of the campaign at the Ventura JACL such as Anne Chilcott, Jeff Kunisaki, Ken and Joanne Nakano, Betty Katsura, and Mr. and Mrs. Wakiji were among the earliest advocates of the stamp helping Aiko O. King.
We would like to highlight support from the Equality State for the stamp, especially from the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation and Senator Alan Simpson. Former HMWF Executive Director Brian A. Liesinger provided key support in Wyoming. The efforts in Wyoming culminated in the congressional delegation expressing support for the Go For Broke stamp through a letter of support to the Postmaster General: Rep. Cynthia Lummis, Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso. We appreciate the patient assistance from the congressional staff members, especially Ms. Alison McGuire (Sen. Enzi) and Mr. Jimmy Ward (Rep. Lummis).
Sen. Simpson’s good friend, Secretary Norman Mineta, has also been a supporter of Stamp Our Story.
When Stamp Our Story committee members attended a pilgrimage to Heart Mountain as descendants of former incarcerees there, we are grateful for the support showed by the Foundation.
When meeting with Sen. Alan Simpson, we are so grateful for his advice, encouragement, and vocal support:
“You’ve gotta go knock down some doors to get this stamp!” Sen. Alan Simpson told us.
Rep. Mike Simpson (ID-02), and Sens. Mike Crapo and James E. Risch, all Republicans, voiced their support in a coauthored letter on August 30, 2017.
We would like to highlight the support from Ms. Mia Russell and the Friends of Minidoka organization for their activism in the summer of 2017 to get Idaho’s congressional delegation to voice their support through the letter to the Postmaster General. Minidoka was the site of an incarceration center where Americans of Japanese heritage were held during World War II. As part of the delegation’s letter, Sen. Crapo also wrote a special op-ed to accompany the letter.
“Despite their own country, America, questioning their patriotism and uprooting their families, many put their lives on the line to uphold the freedoms of those who distrusted and condemned them. The strength and patriotism of Japanese Americans is to be celebrated and honored.”
U.S. Senator Mark Crapo of Idaho
We would like to highlight the prominent support from Rabbi Shmuel Novack and Chabad Southside for their support from Florida. Rabbi Novack’s grandfather, the late Lt. David Novack, served alongside the Go For Broke soldiers as an officer in the 100th Battalion. We are forever grateful for all of your assistance and encouragement over the years.
A special thanks to Rep. John Rutherford (R-Jacksonville) for his letter of support.
A special thanks to Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Weston) for signing on to Rep. Mike Honda’s congressional letter to the Postmaster General.
We sincerely thank all of you who helped from Florida!
We would like to highlight support from the Lone Star State for the stamp.
Rep. Al Green (D-Houston) was a cosigner to Rep. Mike Honda’s 2009 congressional letter of support.
We would like to recognize the support from Sandra Tanamachi, Gary Nakamura, WF Strong, Houston JACL, William Scarbrough and the 36th Division Association, Greg Shigemasa, Texas Military Forces Museum.
Mr. Scarbrough penned a letter of support for the stamp campaign on behalf of the 36th Division Association in 2016. In the letter, he praised the 100th/442nd RCT:
“Their combat operations in the liberation of France was the best during World War II.”
Mr. Scarbrough (36th Division Association)
We appreciate the support for the stamp from the Empire State. Help came from the New York JACL chapter members, and individuals across the state. We thank Riccardo Sho Paladin for his prominent support from NYC.
We sincerely thank Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Manhattan), sent his letter of support on May 17, 2016.
“Very few historical Asian American Pacific Islander stamp subjects have ever been issued. This inspirational stamp would be a big step in the right direction.
Rep. Charles Rangel
A special thanks to all of the New York lawmakers who sent letters of support: Reps. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens) and Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn).
We also send our appreciation to Reps. Joe Crowley (D-Brooklyn), Maurice Hinchey (D-Utica), Carolyn Maloney (D-Bronx), Gary Ackerman (D-Queens), for cosigning the 2009 congressional letter of support for the stamp.
We would like to send a special thanks to the Shima and Roulier Families for their help in Maryland, as well as members of the Seabrook, Southeast, and Washington, DC Chapters of the JACL.
A special thanks to Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Kensington) for his letter of support.
A special thanks to the Mr. John Hopper and the Amache Preservation Society for their letters of support and for reaching out to Colorado lawmakers. We also thank the Mile High Chapter of the JACL for their assistance in the campaign.
We would like to thank Rep. Mark Udall (D-Lafayette) for signing Rep. Mike Honda’s 2009 letter to the Postmaster General.
We sincerely thank all of you who have helped from Colorado!
A special thanks to Rep. Dina Titus (D-Las Vegas) for her letter of support. We also thank members of the Las Vegas Chapter of the JACL. We sincerely thank all of you who helped from Nevada!
A special thanks to Rep. John Larson (D-East Hartford) for signing the 2009 congressional support letter to the Postmaster General from Rep. Mike Honda.
We sincerely thank all of you who helped from Connecticut!
We would like to thank Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-Providence) for cosigning the 2009 congressional letter of support for the stamp.
We would like to thank Rep. Betty McCollum (D-St. Paul) for signing in support of the Go For Broke stamp in Rep. Mike Honda’s letter in 2009.
W would like to highlight the support from Senator Sherrod Brown, who signed Rep. Honda’s 2009 Letter to the Postmaster General.
We would like to thank Rep. Joe Sestak (D-South Whitehall Township) for cosigning the 2009 congressional letter of support for the stamp.
We would like to thank Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Newport News) for cosigning the 2009 congressional letter of support for the stamp.
We would like to thank Rep. Gwen S. Moore (D-Milwaukee) for cosigning the 2009 congressional letter of support for the stamp.
We would like to thank Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam) for cosigning the congressional letters in support of the Go For Broke stamp in 2009 and 2016.
We would like to thank Rep. Eni Faleomavaega (D-American Samoa) for cosigning the 2009 congressional letter of support for the stamp.
A special project was set up by Eileen Roulier and her family. Ms. Roulier is the daughter of 442nd veteran Terry Shima. She, her family, friends, and colleagues, gathered petition signatures and support letters for the Go For Broke Soldiers stamp proposal in France.
We would like to highlight the important assistance from France by Gerome Villain and Hervè Claudon.
They focused on the areas around the towns liberated by the 100th/442nd, which were mainly Bruyeres, Biffontaine, and Belvedere. These areas already locally celebrate the Go For Broke veterans. There are streets named after them and local museums that highlight their liberation of the area from the Germans. Ceremonies also take place when the veterans make pilgrimages to their area. So when they got word of the campaign for a U.S. commemorative postage stamp happening, many stepped forward to help. We are forever grateful for their assistance as we documented how important this little stamp is to many people not only in the U.S., but also across the Pacific in France!
We send a heartfelt thank you to Ms. Roulier, Mr. Villain, Mr. Claudon, and to all of their family, friends, and colleagues for helping this project to completion and sending it to the Postal Service! The French help made a huge difference!
Support from JACL Chapters and National JACL
Over the years, the campaign has received generous help from JACL members, and just about all levels of the Japanese American Citizens League, from local chapters to the National JACL. Stamp Our Story co-founder Aiko O. King was an active Ventura County JACL member in California. JACL Chapters nationwide were among the first to organize petition drives and letter writing in support of the Go For Broke Soldiers stamp. We are forever grateful.
We sincerely appreciate the coverage of the stamp effort in the JACL’s Pacific Citizen publications.
Special thanks to Ms. Priscilla Ouchida.
We thank all of you who helped in the stamp effort over the years!
We would especially like to highlight the prominent help from the Ventura JACL and Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL chapters in California.
We would like to highlight two former Ventura JACL Presidents:
They have been friends to Stamp Our Story Co-founder Aiko O. King, and to the stamp campaign as well.
We would also like to highlight the essential help from Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACLer
Mr. Hashimoto has been a vocal advocate for a stamp that would tell the story of the Nisei soldiers, and he has been prominent in the drive to accomplish this goal.
The following is a list of JACL Districts and Chapters whose members have participated in the stamp campaign at various levels.
Central California District Council: Clovis, Fowler, Fresno, Livingston-Merced, Parlier, Reedley, Sanger, Selma, Tulare County
Northern California-Western Nevada-Pacific District Council: Alameda, Berkeley, Contra Costa, Cortez, Diablo Valley, Eden Township, Florin-Sacramento Valley, Fremont, French Camp, Gilroy, Golden Gate, Honolulu, Japan, Lodi, Marin County, Marysville, Monterey Peninsula, Placer County, Reno, Sacramento, Salinas Valley, San Benito County, San Francisco, San Jose, San Mateo, Sequoia, Silicon Valley, Sonoma County, Stockton, Watsonville-Santa Cruz, West Valley
Pacific Southwest District Council: APAN, API Lambda, Arizona, Downtown Los Angeles, East Los Angeles, Ms. Louise Sakamoto and the Greater Los Angeles Chapter, Greater Pasadena, High Desert, Hollywood, Imperial Valley, Las Vegas, New Mexico, Orange County, Pasadena, Progressive Westside, Riverside, SELANOCO, San Diego, Nancy Takayama and San Fernando Valley Chapter, San Gabriel Valley, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, South Bay, Torrance, Venice-West Los Angeles, Ventura County
We would like to highlight the important help from the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS), and Mr. Floyd Mori. Mr. Mori and APAICS were important in helping grow the campaign in Congress.
We would like to highlight the help of the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation (NJAMF), and Ms. Beth Kelley.
Over the years the Stamp Our Story campaign has gathered both handwritten petitions and online petitions.
An estimated 15,000 handwritten petition signatures were assembled during the campaign. A roughly equal number were gathered online through a White House petition process during Obama years of the Presidency, and through a Change.org petition.
We learned through the petition process that oftentimes it is stronger to get support from prominent lawmakers compared to the petitions. Therefore in the later years of the campaign, we emphasized getting letters of support from lawmakers nationwide with less emphasis on petitions. We thank ALL of you who signed petitions over the years! We did gather and send them to the USPS as documentation of your support for the stamp.
Help from Children, Teens, and Young Adults
We would like to highlight that significant support came from children, teens, and young adults throughout the campaign. Young descendants, relatives, and friends of the Go For Broke soldiers stepped forward to help. They signed petitions, wrote letters, and helped grow the campaign. We are forever grateful for your efforts!
The granddaughters of stamp campaign founder Fusa Takahashi helped organize and support the stamp campaign. One of the biggest impacts was their help to rename the campaign with a hashtag in 2015. The campaign was formerly called the “Nisei World War II Stamp Campaign.”
Ms. Takahashi’s granddaughter Kimi Thompson developed the hashtag “Stamp Our Story.”
Continuing Help to Tell the Nisei Soldiers Story…
Though the formal campaign for the Go For Broke stamp is now over, we still will endeavor to preserve this important part of American history. We also seek to play a role in telling this story to others, and keeping the Go For Broke Spirit alive in the United States, and the world.
If you are a student, you too, can help support the campaign’s goal of helping to tell this American story, and other proud stories from our nation’s veterans. Here are a few ideas to help. Please feel free to contact Stamp Our Story for assistance! Thank you!
- Learn about history through the men and women who have served in our nation’s military. Talk with your teacher about conducting an oral history interview with a veteran for the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project. Find out how you can send in taped interviews to be stored in our nation’s library. Click here to link to the Veterans History Project
- If you are in high school or middle school, talk with your teacher about expanding your study by creating a research project on the Nisei soldiers story. Learn more about the National History Day program and possibly create a project for a local History Day competition. Click here to link to National History Day
- Contact the local news media to ask them to feature stories on the Nisei servicemen and servicewomen. Write an article of your own, or a “letter to the editor” and send it in to a newspaper, TV or radio news organization. If you are in a classroom setting, be sure to work with your teacher to plan and to document your work.