by Cindy Paliracio
HICKAM AFB (KHNL) - The seventh of eight C-17 cargo planes arrived at Hickam Air Force Base Wednesday. Veterans from the 442nd Regimental Combat team and 100th Infantry Battalion were there to welcome the aircraft because it was named in honor of their motto, "Go for Broke." Crowds of people welcomed the arrival of Hickam Air Force Base's newest aircraft, the C-17 Globemaster. When the plane arrived, some special cargo got off the plane, 56 aging veterans from the famed 100th Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat team.
"The C-17 like the famed 100th brigade and 442nd regimental combat team during war time," says Brig. Gen. Peter Pawling, Hawaii Air National Guard commander.
The courage of these veterans led them to be the most decorated in our country's history.
"9,846 purple hearts, 18,143 individual decorations including 21 medals of honor."
"Their achievements and dedications from 60 years ago remind us today that the arena of human life honor falls to those who demonstrate their good qualities in action," said a chaplain who spoke at the dedication.
"To be remembered by the military is a great honor," says 442nd veteran Edward Ichiyama.
82-year old Ichiyama says he's grateful and surprised about today's technology. The C-17 has improved from the cargo planes in the 1940's. Not only is this bigger and faster, it's one of the most flexible cargo aircraft to enter the airlift force."
"Their legacy continues to inspire us today and teaches us that service comes at a high price," says Pawling.
Ichiyama hopes the dedication and legacy of the 442nd and the 100th Battalion inspire the young men and women today.
"We would like to think the 442 has opened the door a little bit so that the next generation, third generation as they enter the door, may find some assemblance of equality," says Ichiyama.