Video courtesy The Whitehouse, voice of Stephanie Salazar
WASHINGTON: A Japanese-American World War II Veteran with deep Hawaii Island roots was honored at the White House recently.
90 year old Terry Shima was born and raised in Laupahoehoe, and served in the Army’s 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the segregated – and highly decorated – unit comprised of Japanese Americans.
President Obama awarded Shima the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal, the nation’s second-highest civilian award, at a ceremony at the White House on Feb. 15th. He was recognized for his work as the Executive Director of the Japanese American Veterans Association.
Shima was one of 18 recipients of the medal, hand-selected by the President from over 6,000 candidates.
Terry Shima gave an interview to Whitehouse videographers on the day of the ceremony.
“In a word, awesome,” Shima said about the experience. “There are others far more deserving to receive this Medal than I, however, having been designated, I accept this award on behalf of my family who has given me their total support.”
Shima now lives in Maryland, although his brother Hiroshi lives in Hilo.