Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Yeiichi “Kelly” Kuwayama.

For over a year after Pearl Harbor, Japanese Americans were not allowed to enlist in the military. But Kelly had been drafted long before December 7, 1941, so he was in a kind of limbo: part of the armed forces but not allowed to fight.

Once President Roosevelt lifted the ban, the 442nd Regiment, composed of Japanese Americans from both the mainland and Hawaii, was formed, and Kelly became a battlefield medic with them. He was credited with saving the life of the late Daniel Inouye during combat in Italy, and was wounded during the battle for the Lost Battalion.

By the war’s end, he had received a Silver Star, Purple Heart, the Italian Medal of Merit, and was later named a Knight of the Legion of Honor.

Following the war, he earned an MBA at the Harvard Business School and worked for Nomura Securities in New York. He also worked in Washington, D.C. for the Office of Foreign Investments and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Kelly passed away in 2014. We honor his service.


Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? You’re in luck! VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to newmedia@va.gov with as much of the information as you can put together with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating for how to create the best submission.


Veterans History Project

This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.


Graphic created by Carl J. Valentino: Carl J. Valentino is a student at the University of Delaware with a Major in International Business and a Minor in Graphic Design.

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Published on Jul. 20, 2017

Estimated reading time is 1.8 min.

Views to date: 98

3 Comments

  1. eugene binder August 14, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    See the movie, Go For Broke.

  2. Gene McCandless August 6, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Thank you to all the Japanese American servicemen who performed so valiantly during such difficult times for their families and themselves. History will not forget the valor of the 442nd and the families of these wonderful soldiers.

    As a Vietnam Veteran in the Marine Corps I salute you and your families!

    Gene McCandless
    USMC 1967-71

  3. Charles F. Kosack, Jr. July 28, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    This is the type of man all Americans should know and honor. Millions of our “Family” (those that were a uniform of our nation) served with pride and honor. This man had a lot of reasons to be angry, but love of his brothers, his community, and his country proved how he was truly a hero. Thank you for your sacrifice and rest in God’s love.

Comments are closed.

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