Uncle Hal and his seven siblings were born in America. He served in the U.S. military during WWII in spite of his family being forced to live in an internment camp in Arkansas. Upon release from the camp, Uncle Hal was stationed first in Europe. When I researched American soldiers of Japanese ancestry, I discovered his regiment is recognized as the most decorated unit for its size and length of service in the history of American warfare. (That statement deserves to be pondered.) He was later sent to Japan as part of the occupying forces, and the fact he spoke Japanese was an asset. It was in serving the local people devastated by the effects of the atomic bombs that he met his wife. He served our country in two more wars, and then settled with Aunt Fumi near Tokyo. His daughter Naomi is an English teacher, who is proud of exacting proper pronunciation from her students, especially those tricky "r"s. To say I am happy our girls met their Uncle Hal and Cousin Naomi in Japan is an understatement, but this blog post will end up way too sentimental if I attempt to include words like: heritage, significant, proud, and once in a life time.
The card says "Domo Arigato" (Thank You) and so does my heart.