Wyden presents gold medals to Nisei veterans

March 17, 2012

Two Nisei veterans of World War II from Hood River will be honored Sunday at a town hall hosted by Sen. Ron Wyden.

The annual Hood River town hall will be at 3:30 p.m. at Hood River Valley Adult Center, 2010 Sterling Place.

Wyden, a Portland Democrat, holds one town hall meeting in each county every year. He will give a legislative report, and the community may ask questions and make comments to Wyden on any topic.

Wyden will present Congressional Gold Medals to Sab Akiyama and Taylor Tomita.

In 2009-10, Congress passed and the President signed legislation honoring the "Nisei" soldiers of the 442nd, several of whom are living in Oregon. Wyden co-sponsored the legislation. Many of the Nisei soldiers eligible for the Congressional Gold Medal went to Washington, D.C., earlier this year to personally receive the medal.

"Many were not able to go, including Mr. Akiyama and Mr. Tomita, so Senator Wyden is bringing the medal to them," said Tom Towslee, Wyden's communications director.

Akiyama was a member of the Military Intelligence Service that served with American soldiers in the Pacific during World War II.

Tomita fought with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in Europe during World War II. The 442nd Regimental Combat Team of the U.S. Army was composed of mostly Japanese Americans who fought in Europe during World War II while many of their friends and families were held in internment camps back home in the United States.

The unit became the most highly decorated regiment in the history of the United States Armed Forces, with 21 Medal of Honor recipients. The motto of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team was "Go for broke." Other Japanese-American soldiers served with the military in the Pacific, acting mostly as translators.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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