Honor the "Go For Broke" Regiment

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Madam Speaker, I rise today to introduce legislation recognizing the Japanese-American 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team, commonly known as the ``Go For Broke'' regiments, for their dedicated service to our Nation during World War II.

These brave men served with pride, courage and conviction, waging a war on two fronts--abroad against a forceful and oppressive fascism, and at home against the intolerance of racial injustice. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor incited doubts about the loyalty of Japanese-Americans, these brave men who enlisted to fight to protect our Nation were faced with segregated training conditions, families and friends relocated to internment camps, and repeated questions about their combat abilities. At a time when they could have easily turned their backs on a country which had seemingly turned its back on them, these men chose the nobler, bolder, and more difficult route.

The ``Go For Broke'' regiments went on to earn several awards for their distinctive service in combat, including: 7 Presidential Unit Citations, 21 Medals of Honor, 29 Distinguished Service Crosses, 560 Silver Stars, 4,000 Bronze Stars, 22 Legion of Merit Medals, 15 Soldier's Medals, and over 4,000 Purple Hearts, among numerous additional distinctions. For their size and length of service, the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team were the most decorated U.S. military units of the war. However, these regiments have yet to be honored with a Congressional Gold Medal.

To answer the call of duty requires exceptional courage and sacrifice, but to respond with a vigor and persistence unaffected by those who sought to malign and impede their every achievement reveals an incredible spirit and admirable will. Please join me in honoring these courageous men by supporting the granting of a Congressional Gold Medal, collectively, to the U.S. Army's 100th Infantry.