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The National Veterans Network is a coalition that enlightens the public about the legacy of Japanese American World War II soldiers.
They were All American

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Good citizens work to improve the well-being of fellow citizens in their
communities and their country.

The following excerpt from the letter George Sawada wrote to his father exemplifies good citizenship.

Dear Dad,
One December morn, out of the friendly sky, treachery struck with appalling devastation. You turned pale when you heard the news. For days, father, you were silent in your misery. Japan was the country of your birth, but America, the country of your choice. From that day you ceased speaking of Japan. Out of this treachery grew our misery.

In the spring of the following year, we were forced to evacuate to the relocation centers. It was a bitter blow to me. I, a citizen, with a brother already serving in the Army, must evacuate, and I could not understand why the German and the Italian aliens were not included. I had had an abounding faith in the justice of this nation, but she in return had placed me behind barbed wires, like any enemy alien. I was stricken with bitterness, and bitter was my denunciation of
the government for this apparent discrimination.

I could not understand at the time why you should attempt to restore my faith in the government, which had never given you the right of citizenship and now by evacuation had made you again penniless. But I did not realize the love you bore for this country.

How clearly I remember your words of consolation now, even as I write this letter. Wisely you said: “It is for the best. For the good of many a few must suffer. This is your sacrifice, accept it as such, and you will no longer be bitter.” I listened to your words and the bitterness left me…you showed me what it means to be a citizen.

Your son,


Like Sawada’s father, thousands of other Japanese Americans suffered in silence and waited patiently for incarceration to end. They even encouraged their sons to volunteer to fight for the U.S. when the time came, understanding that something greater than their own freedom was at stake. Despite injustice, they obeyed the law. They toiled for the war effort.