eGirl Power Honors Senators Inouye and Duckworth on Veteran’s Day

AAPI Veterans

Senator Daniel Inoyue, Senator Tammy Duckworth

As we acknowledge the sacrifice and service of past and present veterans of the United States Armed Forces, eGirl Power would like to remember two AAPI veterans who continued their service to our nation by serving in the U.S. senate.

First, eGirl Power would like to honor Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) veteran and U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye, who fought in World War II as part of the 442nd Infantry Regiment. Senator Inouye, born in Honolulu, Hawaii, was a second-generation Japanese, classified as Nisei. He signed up for service after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, but was denied entry as an "enemy alien." Undeterred, Inouye petitioned the government and joined the renowned 442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT). Inouye was among the 12,000 Nisei who answered the call for volunteers for this segregated Japanese American combat unit. The unit would go on to be one of the most decorated for its size and earn nine Distinguished Service Crosses. During his service, Senator Inouye lost his right arm while sweeping through Italy, ending his dream of becoming a doctor. A decorated veteran and Medal of Honor recipient, he found yet another way he could serve this country. Inouye would become the first Japanese American and second Asian American to serve as a senator and the first Japanese American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Next, we must recognize Senator Tammy Duckworth, Iraq War Veteran and Purple Heart recipient, who lost both her legs and partial use of her right arm when her helicopter was struck by an enemy RPG. Senator Duckworth would continue to serve the nation as the Assistant Secretary of Veteran Affairs under the Obama administration, later as the first woman with a disability elected to the House of Representatives, and currently serves as the U.S. senator of Illinois.

The history of service of Senators Inouye and Duckworth is worthy of recognition this Veteran’s Day. They are just two examples of the sacrifices and contributions of the AAPI community to the greater fabric of our country.