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The Daddy lived in Honolulu, Hawaii when World War II began. He was getting his hair cut the morning that Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941. (I write about that here.) In April, 1942, he signed up for the U.S. Army.
It was a Sunday afternoon. The Daddy was hanging out with a friend in Ala Moana Park.
"Compadre, let's join the army," his friend said, seeing the army recruiting truck parked nearby. "I'm going now."
“You go yourself,” the Daddy answered, thinking about how good the wages had become. He was making a dollar an hour. "I'm working tonight."
“I’m going” his friend said.
His friend ran to the truck and jumped on. The Daddy watched as more men jumped onto the truck. Soon, another truck stopped and parked. More men ran and jumped onto that truck. Before he realized it, the Daddy ran and jumped on the second truck, too.
Said the Daddy:
They took us to the camp. They gave us clothes. After they fed us, they had us exercise in the park.
Every morning, exercise. After a week of exercising, we went to the doctor.
Then, there was an order from the mayor. All the men from the (sugar cane) plantations had to go back. They took us all to the headquarters. They said, “Everything that we had given you, all clothes and equipment, goes back to Supply.” We returned everything.As the Daddy and the other men filed out the door, an army official said, "Wait! Let me call and find out if everyone has to leave." The official soon came back and informed the men that only those living on the plantations had to leave. The residents of Honolulu were required to stay.
Pronounced the Daddy:
I said to myself when it became hard, “I should’ve run.” The training was hard. Tiring.
|The Daddy is sitting in the middle row. He's the third soldier from the left.|