05.14.09

House Passes Schiff's Bill to Pay Tribute to "Go for Broke" Regiments

Official Seal of the US House of Representatives

Thursday, May 14, 2009 Contact: Sean Oblack (202) 225-4176

House Passes Schiff’s Bill to Pay Tribute to “Go for Broke” Regiments

Bill honors Japanese-American World War II veterans

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House passed Rep. Adam Schiff’s (D-CA) legislation that will pay tribute to the Japanese-American 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team, commonly known as the “Go For Broke” regiments.  The legislation awards these brave soldiers the Congressional Gold Medal for their dedicated service to our nation during World War II.  The Congressional Gold Medal is Congress’s highest civilian honor and requires two-thirds of the House to cosponsor the legislation before it can be voted on by the House.  Two weeks ago, Rep. Schiff collected the threshold 290th cosponsor and Majority Leader Hoyer quickly moved the bill to the floor for a vote today.  Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) will introduce companion legislation in the Senate this week.

“These 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,” said Schiff.  “At a time when they could have easily turned their backs on a country which had sent their families to internment camps, these men chose instead to serve, and to inspire.  It is long past due that Congress recognize their heroic efforts with Congress’s most prestigious award.”

The Go For Broke regiments earned several awards for their distinctive service in combat, including: 7 Presidential Unit Citations, 21 Medals of Honor, 29 Distinguished Service Crosses, 560 Silver Stars, 22 Legion of Merit Medals, 15 Soldier’s Medals, 4,000 Bronze Stars 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.