Fundraising campaign to host celebration for honorees of Congressional Gold Medal

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The National Veterans Network (NVN) has begun a fundraising campaign to support a two-day celebration event in Washington, D.C. in late fall to commemorate the awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal to the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and Military Intelligence Service members from World War II (WWII) — three groups composed entirely of Japanese American soldiers.

The funds raised during this campaign will help to underwrite the expenses for both the veterans and the events that will recognize their service at a memorial service and a national gala dinner, organizers say.

The Congressional Gold Medal is one of the highest civilian awards and is awarded to an individual or unit who performs an outstanding act or service that contributes to the security, prosperity, and national interest of the United States.

This year, Congress will bestow the award upon the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regional Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service.

Two title sponsors — George and Sakaye Aratani of the Aratani Foundation and Dr. Paul and Hisako Terasaki of the Terasaki Foundation — have donated $50,000 each to support this event. A third sponsor, the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, has donated $25,000. In addition, the NVN is partnering with Honor Flight to sponsor the 100th, 442nd and MIS veterans’ travel to Washington, D.C.

NVN’s Blue Ribbon Committee, which is responsible for this fundraising effort, is co-chaired by Lt. General Joseph Peterson (Ret.) and Major Gen. Antonio Taguba (Ret.). Interested parties can make general donations or become Event Sponsors for the Washington, D.C. events.

The NVN is a coalition of 25 Japanese American veteran and civic organizations whose mission is to serve the interests of Japanese American World War II and subsequent war veterans.

Those interested in donating, who would like to register with NVN, and get additional information about the upcoming celebration activities, should visit the National Veterans Network Website at www.nationalveteransnetwork.com, or contact Christine Sato-Yamazaki, chairperson of the National Veteran Network at (310) 418-4692 or christine@csy-assoc.com.

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