After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Gene Takahashi’s family was sent by the US government to an internment camp for Japanese-American citizens in Poston, Arizona. He remembers living in a small room with about 25 other people with limited resources.

After graduating high school, Takahashi enlisted in the United States Army. By enlisting, he wanted to show that Asian Americans could be proud and loyal American citizens.

During World War II, Takahashi served as a platoon leader in Korea. After his contract ended, he remained in the inactive reserves, where he went to college and got engaged to his future wife.

After receiving his degree, Takahashi returned to active duty. Overseas, he was captured by Chinese forces while fighting. As a POW, he escaped to Seoul and later rejoined his unit. He earned the Combat Infantry Badge and the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in combat.

Thank you for your service, Gene!

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Veterans History Project

This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at


Graphic designer: Aisha Han

Editor: Ashley Levi

Fact Checker: Tavia Wager

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