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The Zealous Army Volunteer

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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.
 

“Go ahead.” 

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.

Comments

  1. There are so few people left who can share the personal history of the war. Those stories are priceless and so it's nice to read about "The Daddy" and his view of training. I have enjoyed your A to Z and wait for further updates.

    http://completelycalifornia.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks, Ann. In the late 1970s, I taped oral history interviews of the parents. I'm so glad I did.

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  2. I agree with Ann. You are wise to put the thoughts and emotions from "The Daddy" and from you into print... would make a great novel!
    Patricia, Sugar & Spice & All Things ? Nice

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  3. Oh, very interesting, I'm going to have to take a look at the other post too, on what happened on December 7th.

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    1. I've come to appreciate my parents' history with each year. :-)

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  4. What a wonderful journey this has been. Thanks for the A to Z's :D

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    1. Widdershins, I've enjoyed your daily visits and comments. My thanks to you for dropping by and wanting to know what's next. :-)

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  5. You are fortunate the Daddy would tell you stories. Mine never would. When you say 3rd from the left I never know if you mean my left or the left of the picture.

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    1. It wasn't until I was in college that I began learning about his life. He actually opened up first to a friend from Hawaii who I think reminded him of a girlfriend he had when he was a young man living there. She asked the right questions, and he went to town. I had no idea until then what a storyteller he was. :-)

      Your left, Manzi, as you look at the photo.

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    2. Susie
      Thanks. That is a neat photo. But then I get a little sad when I think of all the men who gave their life. We finished. Yay Yay

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Thanks for the good cheer. :-)

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