Former Army medic who treated Inouye's wounds remembers him - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Former Army medic who treated Inouye's wounds remembers him

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Several fellow members of the Army's historic 442nd Regimental Combat Team traveled to the U.S. Capitol for Thursday's tribute to the late Sen. Dan Inouye (D-Hawaii), their Army buddy.

"I remember him as a very good person, yes," said Yeiichi Kuwayama who served with Inouye in the legendary all-Japanese 442nd Army unit during World War II.

Kuwayama, 94, and his wife Fumiko -- who've lived in Washington DC for nearly 30 years -- went to the Capitol to pay their respects.

"I think it's a fitting tribute to him. And he has served in the Senate for a number of years and so I think it's a fitting thing that he should be so treated," Kuwayama said.

Kuwayama has an important connection to Inouye: he's the former Army medic credited with saving the senator's life after he was badly wounded in Italy during World War II with injuries that caused his right arm to be amputated.

"Well, he came over the cliff over there, and I was there and I took care of him," he said.

Kuwayama said he put a tourniquet on Inouye's arm to help stop the bleeding that day in 1945, but he's very modest about the whole thing.

"Well, I don't know if I saved his life or not," he told reporters.

He said he was just one soldier doing his job to give medical treatment to another.

"When I worked on these various people who were wounded I just treated them to stop the bleeding first and then to put the bandage on them. That's all I knew. That's all I was thinking of. And I didn't think of anything else," Kuwayama said.

He said he remained in contact with Inouye over the years and last saw him about four or five weeks ago.

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