This letter is in response to the very well-written and very descriptive letter of Rik Yoshizawa’s Korean War experience written by his sister, Dorothy K. Nelson of Westminster, and published in the Saturday, April 9, issue of the Rafu Shimpo.
First of all I want to inform Ms. Nelson that Rik and I were friends well before the formation of the Japanese American Korean War Veterans organization and I was first introduced to Rik by Roy Shiraga. I would never intentionally do or say anything to harm or discredit Rik’s honor or memory. He was a fellow Korean War veteran and we all have a mutual interest with a common experience and stand together. During my association with Rik, I learned a lot about his experience in the early part of the war and I always considered him to be one of the true heroes of the war.
I place Rik alongside the heroes featured in the book, such as Medal of Honor recipient Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura and the many others listed as having been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the second-highest combat award in the nation. The JAKWV book “Americans of Japanese Ancestry in the Korean War” also honors and is dedicated to the 254 brave men who gave their lives for the freedom of the Republic of Korea. Individual photographs with their hometowns are featured in the book as well. The Korean War veterans are very proud of their book, which includes 79 stories of other veterans of the Korean War, including mine. We spent way over a thousand hours of labor and thousands of dollars to publish the book and feel the result is rewarding.
It is regrettable that Ms. Nelson feels the way she does, but as the author of the JAKWV book, I only published what I was told to publish and as it was received.
As author, I accept full responsibility for all aspects of the book that may be disagreeable or offensive to anyone. However, I do ask critics to be fair and not chastise the entire Japanese American Korean War Veterans organization or any of its officers or members, as I am the only one responsible for any irresponsible actions regarding the book. I sincerely hope any criticism towards the book will not diminish the exceptional public image of the heroics and the accomplishments of those who served so distinctly in the Korean War.
Robert M. Wada
“Americans of Japanese Ancestry in the Korean War”