Hichiro Matsumoto
232nd Combat Engineer Company

Reflections and Observations

"I don't know what to say [to someone going to Iraq or Afghanistan]. Because our days and today, combat and things like that, everything is so different. The only thing they can do is common sense, yeah. . . .All that time [of the Vietnam War], I was thinking that, chee, I hope that war wouldn't continue. Because, I mean, if [my son Keith] was going to be drafted, you cannot do anything about it. Of course, you can protest, but that's not what the father did."

Going into the army and serving Uncle Sam, that helped a lot finding a job, too. You being a vet and you get better, more safe from being low man on the totem pole. At least you get a better chance to stay at a job.

I don’t know what to say [to someone going to Iraq or Afghanistan today]. Because our days and today, combat and things like that, everything is so different. I mean, I’m not in a position to give them advice. The only thing they can do is common sense, yeah.

All that time [of the Vietnam War], I was thinking that, chee, I hope that war wouldn’t continue. Because, I mean, if [my son Keith] was going to be drafted, you cannot do anything about it. Of course, you can protest, but that’s not what the father did.

I only wanted the kids [Keith & Coleen] to be good citizens. Because I try to be a good citizen. I don’t know if I was but I think I was on the little bit good side.

Hichiro Matsumoto, 2005

So I’m very happy that - what Keith is doing now. And my daughter, well, she’s married and she’s living on the Mainland, and she has a place of her own, too. So. And my kawaii [lovely] wife, eh.

Hichiro Matsumoto's interview reprinted courtesy of the Center for Oral History. Photographs courtesy of Center for Oral History.

All rights to the reproduction or use of content in the Hawaii Nisei web site are retained by the individual holding institutions or individuals.

Please view the Hawaii Nisei Rights Management page for more information.