Veteran’s Corner for Sunday, November 2, 2008

Norman Hashisaka selected as Grand Marshal for the Veterans Day parade

The Veterans Day parade will start at 10 a.m., Nov. 8 in Kapa‘a. Kuhio Highway in Kapa‘a will be closed during the parade. The theme for the parade is “A Tribute to all World War II Veterans, the Greatest Generation.” The ceremonies and festivities will commence at the Kapa‘a Beach Park following the parade. Norman Hashisaka has been selected as the Grand Marshal and is featured below in “Meet a Veteran.”

The parade committee has added an Honorary Grand Marshal. The honorable Judge Trudy Senda, a judge at the District Court for the 5th Circuit has been bestowed this honor. Judge Senda received her law degree from the University of Hawai‘i’s Williams S. Richardson School of Law and has been very helpful to Kaua‘i veterans.

The reviewing officer and guest speaker will be Brig. Gen. Myron Dobashi, United States Air Force (Retired). Dobashi was commissioned through the Air Force ROTC program.  Prior to his retirement, he was the Assistant Adjutant General and also served as the Commander of the Hawaii Air National Guard.

Following the parade, there will be a short Veterans Day program followed by entertainment and other festivities. Winners of the fundraiser raffle will be announced. Food and craft vendors will be available.

Veterans Day Services

Veterans Day services will start at 11 a.m., Nov. 11 at the Hanapepe Veterans Cemetery

Dominique Pascua selected as Miss Kaua’i Veteran

Dominique Pascua, daughter of Roxanne and Vance Pascua of Hanapepe was selected as Miss Kaua‘i Veteran from among 12 candidates from the high schools on Kaua‘i. She is an honor student and a senior at Waimea High School. She is an active Junior-ROTC cadet and has the rank of Lieutenant Colonel commanding the student battalion.

Changes to ID card rules

Retirees and family members seeking to renew or replace a military identification card are required to provide two types of ID, one of which must include a photograph. Before visiting an ID facility, individuals should call to determine the specific type of documents required and verify the process to renew or replace the card. On Kaua‘i, new ID’s can be produced at the PMRF facilities. For information, call 335-4493.

Marine Corps ball

Members of the Marine Corps League will celebrate the 233 birthday of the Corps starting at 5:30 p.m., Nov. 10 at the ResortQuest Kauai Beach at Maka‘iwa. All active duty, retired and former Marines are invited as well as all naval personnel who served with the Fleet Marine Forces. For information, contact John Burns at 826-6753.

Flu shots

The Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Lihu‘e has revised the policy on flu shots. An appointment is not necessary. For those previously registered at the clinic, shots are given Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. except on Tuesday afternoons.

Flag destruction day

The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning. The Veterans Council has scheduled Nov. 22 as a day to honorably destroy the flag. Anyone desiring to properly dispose of their flags is asked to drop them off at the Veterans Center on Kapule Highway during normal business hours, Monday to Friday. The Veterans Office is on the left side entrance and to the immediate left on entering the building. For information, call Aida Cruz at 246-1135.

Bill that benefits Filipino veterans

Both the House and Senate passed the Veterans’ Benefits Act of 2007. The bill provides benefits to the thousands of Filipinos who served in the United States military during World War II.

The House version did not include benefits for the Filipino veterans. The House reconsidered and approved a version of the Senate bill but fell short of what the veterans felt they deserved. The Senate bill had a monthly compensation whereby the House had a one time payment.

The bill is in committee to resolve the differences. If resolved, the bill would then be given to the President for signature.

Many cannot understand why these Filipinos deserve these benefits unless researching historical information on the period during World War II and prior. Briefly, the Philippines were once a territory of the United States. During the war, they were under commonwealth status.

President Franklin Roosevelt decided to draft these soldiers and in 1942, Congress passed a law allowing them to become citizens with full military benefits. After the war and in 1946, a couple of bills were signed denying them citizenship as well as military benefits.

Meet a veteran

This month, we feature a distinguished member of the community who will serve as the Grand Marshal for the Veterans Day Parade, Norman Hashisaka. Norman volunteered to serve in Military Intelligence during World War II. After intensive language training, he was sent to the Philippines as an interpreter with the Allied Translator Interpreter Section.

After the war, Norman was sent to Japan as part of the allied occupation troops under General Douglas MacArthur. He was assigned to the war crimes trial in Yokohama as one of the interpreters and monitors.

Although born in O‘ahu, the Hashisaka family moved to Kaua‘i in 1926. He attended Kauai High School and graduated from McKinley High School on O‘ahu. Norman graduated from the University of Hawaii and his education includes completion of a Harvard Advanced Management Course in 1960.

Norman is married to Mabel Kawakami, whom he met at the University of Hawaii. When the Kawakami family planned to open the first supermarket in ‘Ele‘ele, they were asked to move to Kaua‘i to join in the opening. This led to a long and distinguished career with Big Save, having served as president and general manager. He is still active with the community and is involved in several business organizations.

An interesting part of the family’s business enterprises was the founding by his wife Mabel of the famous company, Kauai Kookies.

Norman and his wife Mabel have three children, all of whom are college graduates.

• Johnny Rabasa, a Hanama‘ulu resident and Kaua‘i High School graduate, served for 30 years in the U.S. Army, retiring as a command sergeant major. He served in Vietnam. He also retired from the U.S. Postal Service, was postmaster at the Kaumakani post office, and worked at the Lihu‘e post office. He writes this monthly column exclusively for The Garden Island.

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