During Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Allen K. Hoe, a combat medic during the Vietnam War.
Allen K. Hoe was born in April 1947 in Honolulu, Hawaii, to a native Hawaiian and Caucasian mother and a Chinese and Japanese father. Hoe’s father was a ship fitter at Pearl Harbor and served during World War II. Hoe grew up hearing about his family’s warrior class history. This culture of duty and service influenced Hoe to become a combat medic after the Army drafted him at 19.
Hoe initially served to Travis Air Force Base in California, then to Vietnam. Hoe formed a deep bond with his platoon members during his 10-month tour. On Mother’s Day in 1968, Hoe’s brigade was on security during the evacuation of a Green Beret camp. The enemy overwhelmed the brigade, killing 18. The enemy took one member as a prisoner of war and 10 others remained missing in action for 38 years. Hoe and the other survivors pledged that when the lieutenant and their fellow soldiers came home, they would attend the funerals together and give the flag Hoe carried with him in Vietnam to the lieutenant’s family.
During his service, he received a Bronze Star Medal, a Purple Heart and a Combat Medic Badge.
After Hoe completed his service, he enrolled in Leeward Community College, where he earned an associate’s degree, followed by a bachelor’s degree from UH Mānoa. He graduated as a member of the inaugural class from the William S. Richard School of Law.
Two months after Hoe’s return from Vietnam, he met his wife, Adele. They married and had two sons, Nainoa and Nakoa. Both of Hoe’s sons carried on their family’s legacy of service by joining the military. In 2005, Army 1st Lt. Nainoa Hoe died in a sniper attack in Iraq at age 27. He was carrying the flag that his father had given him from his time in Vietnam.
Hoe went on to work in the city and county Hawaiian governments and as a Hawaii District Court Judge. He later opened his own private law practice. Hoe has served as the president of the Honolulu Polo Club since 1987, and is a member of the Department of Army Liaison for Hawaii, acting as an advocate for soldiers and their families.
A ceremony in 2018 honored Hoe and 10 other Vietnam Veterans.
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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/.