NAPCA Is Proud to Serve Those Who Have Served Our Nation
As the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) observes Veterans Day this year, the organization honors the military veterans who have proudly served this nation. NAPCA pays special tribute to the 477 veterans who are either enrolled or have been enrollees in its assistance programs. With recent Congressional Gold Medal ceremonies happening across the country to recognize and honor Chinese American World War II veterans for their service and sacrifice, NAPCA is proud of the military legacy that Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders have been a vital part of. As our veterans age, the organization stands committed to serving those who bravely served our great nation.
“Early in my career, I was incredibly blessed to have met on more than just one occasion and actually worked with Susan Ahn Cuddy and Col. Young Oak Kim, both of whom are true American heroes.
These legendary elders continue to inspire and guide David’s leadership and commitment to the community.
Despite barriers to citizenship and equality based upon the Chinese Exclusion Act in-place until 1943, Chinese Americans remained patriotic and committed to serve our country. Chinese Americans served our nation in every war since the Civil War. In World War II, as many as 20,000 Chinese Americans, nearly 20 percent of their population, volunteered or were drafted into American military service. Approximately 40 percent of those who served were not U.S. citizens. Nevertheless, Chinese Americans served admirably. Chinese Americans earned every type of award for valor up to the Congressional Medal of Honor, which was awarded to Captain Francis B. Wai. The service of Chinese Americans in World War II helped overcome preconceptions, both their own and those of the country as a whole.
Today, there are fewer-and-fewer living Chinese American Veterans of World War II. There are an estimated less than 400 Chinese American Veterans of World War II living today. According to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, by the end of 2021, we will lose a third of the surviving Veterans.
Congress has a proud tradition of recognizing marginalized groups who fought in World War II with a Congressional Gold Medal, including the Tuskegee Airmen, Native American Code Talkers, Women Airforce Service Pilots, Japanese American Nisei, Montford Point Marines, 65th Infantry Regiment, and Filipino Veterans. In 2018, Congress completed the story narrative of World War II and recognized the struggles and patriotism of the Chinese American Veterans who fought to liberate Europe, the Mediterranean, Africa and Middle East, and the Pacific from fascism by awarding them the Congressional Gold Medal. Due to COVID, the surviving Chinese American World War II Veterans and their family were finally able to accept the award in-person beginning in July 2021 with regional ceremonies across the country and in a National Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony and Gala held at Arlington, Virginia in September of this year hosted by the Chinese American Citizens Alliance’s Chinese American World War II Veterans Recognition Project.
NAPCA recognizes eight of its 477 veterans on this special day, all from our Senior Environmental Employment (SEE) Program.
Military Branch: United States Air Force (1954-1962)
Rank: E-4 Enlisted
Deployed to Korea after the ceasefire.
“I was sent there to close the airbase at PUSAN East (K-9). Served as Ground Radio Repairman maintaining communications of radio, airfield homing beacon, telephone, and teletype while in Korea.”
Robert Niederschmidt joined NAPCA SEE program November 2, 2009. Robert is UST (Underground Storage Tank) Compliance Inspector for EPA Region 5 ECAD (Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division). He inspects and monitors activities of underground storage tank facilities in the state of Ohio.
Brenda C. Harrison
Branch of Military: United States Women’s Army Corp
Rank: Specialist 4
Conflict: Vietnam War
Brenda is currently a SEE enrollee and works for the EPA.
Military Branch: United States Navy (1972-1976)
Rank: Yeoman 3rd Class
Conflict: Vietnam War
Paul has been a NAPCA SEE enrollee since August 29, 2014. He is an Administrative Specialist for EPA CPHEA (Center for Public Health and Environmental Assessment), PESD (Pacific Ecological Systems Division) at Corvallis OR.
Military Branch: United States Air Force
Walter “Bud” Leaver is an Administrative Specialist for EPA Region 10 Lab Services and Applied Sciences Division. He assists with wet lab and warehouse activities at the Manchester Laboratory in Port Orchard, WA.
- Tamotsu Shiroyama
- Dora Russell
- Jesse Aparicio
- Alesa Pelaez
The organization joins a grateful nation in celebrating our veteran’s on this day. NAPCA is proud to serve our elder veterans who have served our nation selflessly. The organization remains committed to serving Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, and underserved communities to promote their dignity, well-being, and quality of life as they age.
The NAPCA Helpline is currently available with live support for residents in Los Angeles and Seattle in five different languages: English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and Korean. All Helpline counselors are available every Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm PST. The Helpline provides resources and information on the COVID-19, voicemail option to collect stories from older adults and their caregivers, and guided meditations in 8 languages.
English: 1-800-336-2722 | 廣東話: 1-800-582-4218 | 普通话: 1-800-683-7427 | 한국어: 1-800-582-4259 | 日本語: 1-800-398-1117 | Tagalog: 1-800-593-8087 | Tiếng Việt: 1-800-582-4336 | Español: 1-800-948-3844
National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA)
Founded in 1979, NAPCA is a national non-profit organization that preserves and promotes the dignity, well-being and quality of life of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and diverse older adults. In its 40 years, NAPCA has served over 100,000 diverse older adults through the organization’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), Senior Environmental Employment Program (SEE), and its Resource Center. For more information, please visit: www.napca.org.