Idaho brothers receive long overdue military honors

awebb@idahostatesman.comMay 30, 2013 

Medal of Honor recipient, Koyama, military honors

George Koyama, center, and his brother Joe Koyama, left, each received the Congressional Gold Medal from Sen. Mike Crapo Thursday, May 30, at the Idaho State Capitol. George Koyama, a member of the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, received additional medals for his service. The brothers were not able to attend a 2011 medal ceremony in Washington, D.C.

DARIN OSWALD — doswald@idahostatesman.com Buy Photo

— Two brothers, George Koyama, 90, and Joe Koyama, 88, grew up in Nampa.

They worked in agriculture. The brothers also served in the Army in World War II at a time when anti-Japanese sentiment was strong in the U.S.

On Thursday, surrounded by family members and officials in the governor’s office, the brothers each received a Congressional Gold Medal for that military service.

In 2010, some 70 years after the war ended, an act of Congress specified that all Nisei veterans who served in the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service would receive the medal. It is one of the highest civilian awards in the U.S. Nisei veterans are those men and women born to Japanese immigrants.

U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, who presented the medals, said the honor was long overdue.

Read more in Friday's Idaho Statesman.

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