>> Hello, everybody. I am here. I’m so excited. I’m honored to be here with my American-Samoan-Korean-War veteran grandpa. His name is …
>> … Yaputo …
>> … Avengario. I’m also here with the Veterans of Foreign War commander, state commander, Inapo Maria. Aw, oh. I just told him that I’m very grateful to be here, and I gave him this pin, and I paid my utmost respect with a Korean bow, and he said, “I was just doing his” … He was just doing his job, but as you can see, he has so … He has a Purple Heart.
>> I think I have two Purple Hearts.
>> Two Purple Hearts …
>> And a Bronze Star.
>> … and a Bronze Star.
>> I’ve got three Bronze Stars with valor.
>> Three Bronze Stars with valor.
>> With valor.
>> How do you have three Bronze Stars?
>> They need to …
>> I got a combat patch.
>> … recognize his service, especially on, what you think, on Veteran’s Day …
>> Oh, my goodness.
>> … because I never knew he has this.
>> I’m glad that you came.
>> And I’m glad. My heart, I’m glad that you came because I’m so proud for his service.
>> I’m so thankful. Can you tell us about your war experience?
>> The only really [INAUDIBLE]. When we do our job and all good ones, I am still living and really fortunate [INAUDIBLE].
>> Well, you did your job very, very, very well because you defended the freedom for not only Korea but for this world really because the Korean War helped end Communism, but you should be very proud because not a lot of people know about American Samoa and American Samoans, and so the Korean War, people forget, but people don’t know American Samoa. So you almost died, and that’s why you have a Purple Heart, two Purple Hearts and three Bronze Medals. You must have seen many people die too. I hope that you remember the war but not only of pain but also of goodness. What year did you go to Korea?
>> 1952? For how long?
>> [INAUDIBLE] and when I returned back after about June ’54, we finished off [INAUDIBLE].
>> So you were there from 1952 to ’54?
>> Yeah. I started on [INAUDIBLE].
>> It’s for us to remember.
>> Oh, thank you.
>> I’ll give that to him.
>> Okay. Thank you. She’s giving this to me, and she’s giving one for you, but I don’t feel like I deserve this.
>> This medal.
>> No, no, yes, you do. No, you do. That’s my commander’s pin.
>> Okay. Thank you.
>> And you more than deserve it. You came all the way down here to say thank you to Korean veterans. Nobody can do it. Nobody do it from other … other country, but I know it’s precious to him, and he feels great that people like you that remember their service during the … This is my commander’s pin for you too, Papa.
[ Chatter ]
>> My big Papa. You’re my big Papa.
>> So no matter at least I know where he lives, so we can pay tax. Okay?
>> So do you remember … What do you remember about Korea?
>> I was in Korea … [INAUDIBLE] really, it was too cold. I went in the wintertime. Oh, boy, I don’t know which one I was scared to: the war or the cold.
>> Or the cold.
[ Chatter ]
>> Or the island.
>> Yeah, you stay over here. It’s warm.
>> Oh, it was cold.
>> Now when I returned, I was wanted back in [INAUDIBLE] to get some [INAUDIBLE], and they gave me the two choice to go to finish up my time in Vietnam. One is to work [INAUDIBLE], they said, “You can go to Korea, or you can go back to Vietnam.” I was thinking about how cold, so I ran a call to a job in Vietnam [INAUDIBLE] about living over there [INAUDIBLE].
>> When I told him I’m involved back in Vietnam.
>> Yes, you served in Korea and Vietnam.
>> A lot of them, they served Korea and then Vietnam because they’re kind of back to back.
>> But so you received both Purple Hearts in Korea or Vietnam?
>> Both in Vietnam?
>> Yeah, and [INAUDIBLE].
>> Oh, all three Bronze Stars in Vietnam?
>> Not in Korea?
>> Korea, I could [INAUDIBLE].
[ Chatter ]
>> That’s one for the … That’s for the star.
>> Do you think your experience in the war and Korea helped you become more brave in Vietnam because you knew more about war?
>> I think right now it’s equipment. They get all brand-new ones that really … That was a big change. Now everything is [INAUDIBLE]
>> Mm. What division did you belong to in the Korean War?
>> I was in Third Division, Seventh Regiment, First Battalion.
>> Okay, Seventh …
>> Seventh Regiment.
>> … Regiment.
>> Third …
>> Third …
>> Third …
>> Third division.
>> Seventh Regiment and …
>> Third Division, Seventh Regiment.
>> … and First Battalion.
>> First Battalion, okay.
>> Third Division.
>> Seventh Regiment and First Battalion.
>> Division, regiment then battalion.
>> And what company?
>> Oh, yeah.
>> I was in the First Battalion and Company D.
>> D Company, Delta Company.
>> Did you experience any discrimination?
>> I experienced …
>> Oh, there was some struggle because the part of the Third Division, the other regiment comes from Puerto Rico.
>> So …
>> Puerto Rican, Hispanic.
>> Puerto Rican.
>> No one understands each other.
>> And they think that’s the reason why they started changing [INAUDIBLE]. The regiment on Puerto Rico, it’s changing around.
>> Oh, okay.
>> Same thing over in [INAUDIBLE].
>> That’s good to know.
>> Yeah [INAUDIBLE].
>> Are we going on 20?
>> Mm-hmm. Thank you so much for meeting me. I’m so happy. I’m so happy. When you look at this heart, don’t forget me, okay?
>> Yeah, I know.
>> I know.
>> I know because I don’t know how many people are alive and [INAUDIBLE] I hope they have somebody because all the people I went to Korea, I never [INAUDIBLE].
You know a guy named Malleva, Maneva Pioli?
>> No, no, but were you serving in Korea with him? He’s here. He arrived. We’re going to interview him.
>> And so we thought that you’d make it to the center so you can see if you’re going to meet some of your …
>> Is that Malleva de Chun?
>> Malleva, no, no, not Union Malleva. Union Malleva is here too. He’s alive.
>> But Diauli Maneva .
>> Oh, no, I don’t know him.
>> Papa, how old are you?
>> How old are you?
>> Eighty-eight, so you went to Korea when you were 20, huh? No, 22, 1952, you were 22. Okay. Well, so this is my Papa, big Papa and American-Samoan Papa, and I’m just so happy to be here. It took a long time for me to be here, to get here. It was very difficult, but it’s so worth it, seeing your tears. It was worth all of my tears to get here, so, everyone, look. Can you stand up? Look. Look at this. Okay? Look at this. We’re going to …
>> Is that you and your wife over there?
>> Get the photo of the … Oh …
[ Chatter ]
>> Yeah that’s [INAUDIBLE].
>> Yes, and I want to show he served in the Vietnam. He’s a warrior citizen, and his Purple Heart, Bronze Star, look at all his medals, not that I’m saying a veteran is one who has more medals, his life is any more precious. I’m not saying that. However, he went above and beyond to really serve the country, and the thing is, he never forgot. He never forgot.
>> I still get a Korean [INAUDIBLE]. That one right in the middle in the third row.
>> Oh, this one?
>> Way down, way down.
>> Way down.
>> Right there.
>> Yes, yes, yes.
>> That’s a unit citation, your unit citation.
>> Yes, so look at this. So I just want everybody to know that the veterans never forget their service, yes. Look at this. I want … Can you show this one here down here? I think he was in the Second Infantry. This is an Indianhead. Were you in the Second Division too?
>> Yeah, my son was stationed.
>> He gave me that poster when he …
>> Oh, okay, so your second … So your son was in the Second Infantry Division in Korea.
>> Yeah, [INAUDIBLE].
>> Oh, wow, yes, so his son is also a Korean defense veteran, so he’s an Indianhead. So is my boss and many people out there, so again, I just thank you, Grandpa Pito, for receiving me today and everyone. I’m going to now meet other veterans at the Veterans Center, and we’re going to have a ceremony.
>> You’ve got time.
>> I’m just so happy to be here, so thank you, yes.
[ Chatter ]
>> Thank you. Bye.
>> My name is Suaka Shuster. I was born in the village of Pago Pago and born in the hospital, the naval hospital, that we had in Mauna Loa. That’s where I was born. I … What happened is you wanted to me to say?
>> American Samoa, you said, what everybody need to know about American Samoa.
>> Well, American Samoa is very unique because they don’t have to join the service because of the population that we have, we don’t have to go out and actually volunteer to go, be told that at that time. So I got registered, or when I went to the United States, I registered to vote. Everybody goes over there that’s 18 years old has to register, so I didn’t know what it’s for until I got a letter from them that they drafted me in the army, so I went in to see them and see what all this about. They said why you drafted in the military. I said, “Oh, yeah, [INAUDIBLE],” and then I said, “Well, can I choose where I go?” He said, “Yes, I can choose,” so I choose to go in the Air Force in 1952, so I served the Air Force for 4 years.
>> Why did you choose to go to the Air Force because Air Force was new at the time?
>> It’s new, and as a I kid, I was always excited and wanted to be a pilot, but unfortunately, we didn’t have that. You see here in Samoa at the time, you learn how to become a pilot, so that was [INAUDIBLE]. I want to serve the Air Force because I was interested in flying, so they send me to school to Texas in Amarillo for [INAUDIBLE] almost 4 years to become a member of a flight crew of an airplane, and it happened to be a B-47 bomber that carries an atomic bomb. They told me [INAUDIBLE] know if I like this because I don’t want [INAUDIBLE], but I found out it was just a safety precaution because of the enemy, and we do have to do it. We have to do it. A lot of talking [INAUDIBLE], so I joined for 4 years in regular military service as a flight engineer for a B-47 bomber. The crew members, there were three of … four of us: the pilot, the copilot, the navigator and the flight engineer. That’s all the people you can fit in the airplane, and the seat I was on, I was sitting in the air with an atomic bomb, right in the back of me, and I hope every day that the alert to fly that we don’t have to use this thing because I know that’s wrong, killing people, and fortunate enough, we never had to drop the atomic bomb. The time before when it happened, the same outfit that I was in [INAUDIBLE] a bombing when we took it to Japan, two places where they dropped the bomb, and they killed a lot of people, and I don’t want to be … have that experience all my life. That’s all I want to share with you.
>> What do you remember about … How many flights did you take, and what do you remember about Korea?
>> For … I never landed in Korea, never landed. I was always in the air. I’d fly from California through Okinawa, and then we were in the air all the time.
>> So you were in Japan, stationed in Japan?
>> Yeah, in Okinawa.
>> On Okinawa?
>> And then we were stationed in … We flew to different places all the time, so England or a station, permanent stations, Riverside, California, and they’d evacuate us and send us to different places, and when there’s nothing else to do, then we’d round the United States, body of the United States. Those were our jobs that we …
>> Have you have been back to Korea?
>> What do you know about it, and what does it make you feel as a Korean War veteran?
>> I feel that I’ve done the job, that it’s for the safety of the people, not to go and kill the people within there, but just to put them in safety. That’s my feeling.
>> So you started out by saying that American Samoans didn’t need to …
>> Didn’t need to.
>> … volunteer, but you went, and many people went. What does it make you feel as a Samoan.
>> I feel proud to have done someone is going out to sacrifice his life for other people.
>> Yeah. You should be very proud.
>> It’s a small place, and there’s a few of us, and we’re eager to join the Army and the Air Force and the Navy and sacrifice, to help others [INAUDIBLE].
>> I think you may be one of the few remaining Korean War veterans on this island.
>> Yes, I am one of the [INAUDIBLE].
>> Yes, yes.
>> I’m still here.
>> Yes, we’re here to honor you today.
>> Yes, later the Lieutenant Governor and …
>> All right. My name is [INAUDIBLE]. This is my sister, Hannah. She’s the youngest of our siblings.
>> The youngest of 11.
>> My niece, Sa, named after my grandmother and my niece, which is her daughter, named Elena. We are from … We are all relatives of our uncle that was killed in the Korean War, and his name is [INAUDIBLE] …
>> [INAUDIBLE]. He’s from … He has many villages from [INAUDIBLE] and [INAUDIBLE]. Yeah.
>> So we weren’t there when he was alive because he died in 1950 in the Korean War, and I was born in 1956. My daughter … My sister is 1965.
>> So we didn’t see him, but we know from our dad’s stories about his brother. My dad is … He’s the one … The uncle, my uncle died in Korea, and he’s older than my dad. My dad is the youngest of the siblings, so based on his story, he joined the military and the armed forces, and then he went off island because of that, and he … When he left, he didn’t marry, but he has a girlfriend that he was suppose to marry before he left, but that didn’t happen, and based on our dad’s story, word arrived from off island that he was killed. He was killed, and they waited for 7 to 9 months, I think 7 months, before his body was found and …
>> … transferred down here to the islands, so he was brought in with the word that they’re not supposed to open up the coffin, so they haven’t seen if he was really in there, and he was buried in Pago Pago, his mother’s land in Pago Pago, so that’s all we know about him, but when he died late in 1950, my mother gave birth to one of my brothers and because of uncle was passed away, he was named after my uncle. Yeah. That’s how we remember him because we did not see him in-person. He passed away before we were born.
>> Do you know which battle he passed …
>> The Korean War.
>> I know, which battle?
>> During the war, which battle? Like, where did he die?
>> I don’t know.
>> I don’t remember.
>> We don’t remember, and I …
>> What … Do you know what date …
>> … he died, what date?
>> Yes, it’s in the sheet of … and on the tombstone. It’s August 23, 1950.
>> August 23rd, 1950.
>> Oh, that’s during the beginning of the war. That was the most difficult time of the war.
>> And we were told … My dad told us that he’s … where he was doing on the … Through he war was he the operator of a tank, the machine, and he was killed right there.
>> He was operating the tank.
>> The big gun, yeah.
>> How old was he?
>> I think he was … Because he was born in July 12th, 1933.
>> He was baby. He was 18.
>> He just turned 18, so he joined the army right when he turned 18?
>> Yeah. Who?
>> Your uncle.
>> I think so.
>> When did he join the army?
>> I’m not sure.
>> We don’t have that.
>> Seventeen, 18.
>> Yeah. He was a baby, so what does it mean for you to honor him here today?
>> Very much important to us because ever since he passed away in the war doing what … I think it was discussed during my dad’s time, but during our time, we never speak of him because we know very little about him. Yeah. We haven’t seen him. If only we can find a picture of him, but we don’t have it.
>> No picture?
>> No picture.
>> I think those times …
>> Not even his baby picture?
>> I think those times, there were no camera on the island.
>> Yeah, so …
>> But I knew he was planned to get married when he comes back.
>> Yeah, but that didn’t happening.
>> Oh, but no picture, so nobody knows how he looks like.
>> Maybe my dad is the one who only knows how he looks like because …
>> They made a song. They made a song about him.
>> Yeah. There’s a song about him.
>> It’s on the Internet.
>> Do you sing it?
>> I forgot the words to that song.
>> I used to sing it with my grandmother, and that’s long ago.
>> Come on. Sing it. Sing it. Sing it.
>> I forgot it.
>> Yes. It’s … I forgot because …
>> Sing it. Sing it. Try. Try.
>> … it’s been 40 years.
>> It’s going to make me make tears.
>> What does it mean?
>> But that’s how the song goes.
>> What does the song mean?
>> [INAUDIBLE]. Oh.
>> Asking about where he is.
>> It’s …
>> Who made the song?
>> That’s the name of the song. That’s how we would remember him.
>> Sorry, very emotional.
>> Well, I’m here to honor him and his memory.
>> I mean, it’s a happy feeling to … for today to remember him again.
>> But it totally forgot the whole song, the whole lyrics, but that’s how …
>> I used to sing it.
>> But that’s how I could remember.
>> I used to sing the song with my grandma, but it’s 40 years ago now, 40 years.
>> But it’s amazing that you’re … All of you are here to honor him. I mean, I don’t know know him, but I know where he is. He’s with the Lord.
>> And he’s watching over all of your family. Yes, and I think …
>> And he’s at peace.
>> … he appreciates it very much that you remember him.
>> Thank you. Thank you.
>> Thank you. If only we could see a picture of him, it’s …
>> Maybe [INAUDIBLE] because our dad and his brother [INAUDIBLE]. They only have one sister. Maybe she has some photos, but she pass away too.
>> Oh. I think that’s why it’s so important that we remember and we record the history.
>> I don’t know if she were … Of his record when he join the offices if there’s any picture.
>> There has to be.
>> I know.
>> Oh, I hope we can find it.
>> Let’s try to find it.
>> Yes, let’s try to find it.
>> Pictures of him, we didn’t even see his face.
>> Okay. Okay. Thank you so much. Okay, everybody say …
>> Thank you so much for your time.
>> … bye.
>> Thank you.
>> Okay. My name is [INAUDIBLE]. I’m a retiree of the Marine Corps, served 20 [INAUDIBLE] years, and we are [INAUDIBLE] specifically by my uncle [INAUDIBLE]. He was a war veteran of the Korean War, and in the ’50s, early, ’50s, he was in Korea, and he got wounded in Korean War. And he served, I don’t know how long, how many times, but after that time, then he joined the [INAUDIBLE] Marines actually in that time after. Then he got discharged around early ’60s or somewhere around there, and he just passed away about 7 or 8 years ago, and most of the time, I heard him, he was talking about some metal stick in his leg, got wounded in Vietnam … I mean, in Korea, and he always talk about he got wounded in the snow, in the time of the snow, cold weather training, or cold weather. He got wounded in Korea in that war, and he’s a super guy to me, great uncle, and he shared his thought and the time of his service, and I’m proud to be his nephew. And that’s all I can remember and I know about him.
>> How old was he when he joined?
>> I believe when he joined, he was probably 19 or 20 years old.
>> Aw. When is his birthday, do you know?
>> Oh, I don’t know. His birthday is around 1937.
>> Why do you think he joined?
>> Well, it was the only way out here in [INAUDIBLE] and a good future for the time. It’s the only way out of [INAUDIBLE] is through the military.
>> And he came back, and he kept on serving in the military?
>> Yes. He came back serving in the military, and he worked as a farmer. They gave him [INAUDIBLE] for the family, and he [INAUDIBLE]. He married a girl in [INAUDIBLE]. That’s where he’s buried right now, in [INAUDIBLE], and a great guy. He was very tough in those days to us. When he came out of the military, he’s a macho man and [INAUDIBLE]. Yeah, he was a tough guy. We were all scared of him.
>> Mm. He had a lot of influence on you.
>> Yes. Oh, yes.
>> Can you spell his name? Can you spell his name?
>> T-A … [INAUDIBLE] T-I-T-A-E, and last name is Fiame, F-I-A-M-E.
>> Well, I hope he knows. I’m sure he knows how proud you were of him, and I’m here to say thank you to him too, so I’m grateful for you for being here to honor his memory, yeah, on behalf of your family. Thank you.
>> I appreciate you coming all the way to California to [INAUDIBLE]. We still have some people that served way before these people in the military, and they talk a lot, these veterans, that’s the only way out [INAUDIBLE] our family, our kids, and after I retire, I came back. I worked for the [INAUDIBLE], so I got out and whatever, and I [INAUDIBLE] for the people of [INAUDIBLE].
>> Mm. Thank you for your service, too.
>> Thank you.
>> My name is Edmund Hollister. My dad, Edwin Robert Hollister. He was born here in American Samoa, and his birthday is September 18th, 1925. He passed away December 8th, 1976. He was a sergeant. He was in Korea at that time. That’s where [INAUDIBLE].
>> Some might say your father is a hero.
>> I guess.
>> Do you know if he fought combat?
>> He was a medic.
>> A medic?
>> Yes. He always go with people when they go to field, whatever time, they said to go please with those people in infantry.
>> Oh, he was a medic?
>> He was a medic, yes.
>> That was his job.
>> When did he join the Army?
>> I don’t know, but if you … So my dad received the money from the VA. He was in the military. He went a long time ago back in American Samoa. The VA, the local VA, he [INAUDIBLE] guy. He was doing everything. That’s where he got the money from them. I didn’t know what time. Somewhere around 1954, ’53 … somewhere around ’52 or ’53, somewhere around that time. But he was born in 1925, yes.
>> 1925? So he was a medic during the war. What did he do when he came back?
>> He came back … he was in charge of … He was a teacher in American Samoa. In those days that’s … When he finished teacher, he would be in charge of the women working in the back camp, the Kennedy Company back in those days.
>> What do you … Did he ever mention anything about the war?
>> He didn’t say anything about those things.
>> I don’t know. We were really young at that time. We were really young.
>> What does it mean for you to have a father who was a Korean War veteran? You’re a veteran.
>> You see, I didn’t … In those days, we were young. We didn’t ask those kind of questions. We didn’t even think about joining the military. And finally, when I … I have a bachelor’s. I graduated in 1967, and then I have bought a store. That’s what I had. My dad provided all that stuff, and I take care of those stuff.
>> You came here today to honor him.
>> Yes because I heard on the news yesterday from from Madeon. When I heard that, I thought, “Oh, let me go talk to this lady up there and explain that my dad was in the war at that time.”
>> So it means you’re proud of his service.
>> Oh, yes. When I think about my dad was in it … I’m going to be in the military too. He didn’t retire, but he got out, and finally, when I retired … My daughter, she’s in the Marines right now.
>> Wow, three generations!
>> Yes. My brother, too, had three kids go in the military too. One passed away at war.
>> He passed away when he was in Thailand. That’s where he passed away there. They bring the Hawaiians when Hawaii did the … With his funeral, they sent him to American Samoa. They buried him next to my dad. They have his name up there, Korea, and my brother’s son.
>> Wow. Can you spell your father’s name again?
>> Edwin Robert Hollister.
>> With double L or one L?
>> Two L, yes.
>> Okay. We honor him, okay? Thank you so much. Thank you.
>> But you know, when you get out on commission, then you’re blessed, definitely blessed [INAUDIBLE] DD214, from his paper …
>> Hi. My name is [INAUDIBLE] from American Samoa.
>> I retired from the US Army after serving 30 years. I’m a lieutenant colonel, and being in the military has been a great privilege for me to serve the country and also here in American Samoa. I’m here to let you know that when the people coming from the states looking for Samoan who have served in the Korean Way, as my half brother was in Korean Way. His name is [INAUDIBLE], and he’s passed away last 3 years, but he was born and raised here in American Samoa, and then he went to … He joined the Korean War, but I think he did not retire, but he was.
>> When did he serve in Korea?
>> I cannot set the date, but I’ve seen his pictures.
>> What does it mean for you that he served in Korea and you served in the Army too?
>> It means that he has been very pro military, and when I joined the Army, I think he’s done a great decision serving the country not here in American Samoa, but the USA, and I remember when we have a conversation with him. He was telling me when he was in the Korean Way, he showed me his pictures up in the mountain in Korea. I was surprised to know that he was indeed pro military, and he loved the time that he spent in Korean during the Korean Way.
>> So he remembered it with positive, good memory?
>> Yeah. It was a good memory, but the last few years he was in the Maryland, so he passed away was he Virginia, state of Virginia, and so I can tell him …
>> But I’m so glad …
>> … he’s older. He’s older than me.
>> I’m so glad you’re here to honor his memory.
>> Oh, yes. I do respect him and the right decision that he did make serving our people, not only American Samoa, but in the USA, entire USA. As you know, what’s going on in the military and other countries in the war, some people are afraid to join the military because maybe they will get killed when they go in the military, but anywhere you go whether it be a civilian or in the military, you never know when you’re going to go away, when you’re going to pass away, but he did serve the USA and the US military, and I honor him, and I do respect … Not including my brother, but all Samoan people he served, not only Samoan, but all the USA people who he did serve through that particular time.
>> And you too.
>> And you too.
>> Thank you very much for the opportunity …
>> And thank you for your service.
>> … to hear some of the words of my brother who served Korean War [INAUDIBLE].
>> And thank you.
>> Hi, I’m David Herdrich. I’m the historic preservation officer for the American-Samoa Historic Preservation office, and I was asked to do some research on Korean veterans from the Korean War, of Samoans who served in the Korean War, and one of the first things I found is that there’s very little information on the Internet or even the Department of Defense or with the National Archives. So when I searched the National Archives’ records, there was only one record of a Samoan who fought and died in the Korean War. I continued my search, and I did find a private Korean War remembrance website, and they listed three other Samoans who had died in the Korean War, and then I started doing research at our local archives, and the result of that research, I found close to 100 Samoans who were enlisted at the time of the Korean War. So there’s a large number of Samoans who served during the Korean War era, and then I also went to a private newspaper website, and I did searches on that website, and I found a number of newspaper articles about Samoans who served in the Korean War. Some of the newspaper articles include pictures of the Samoans, and so what we hope to do is contact the Department of Defense and the National Archives and see if they can update their records so there’s a record of the Samoans who served in the Korean War.
>> Wow. Anything specific, particular that you may have noticed in your research?
>> The one thing I’ve noticed is that some of the records that we do have are a little bit inaccurate. So even on the Korean, the private Korean website, they don’t have some of the burial locations down correctly. So we’re hoping with this research that we can update their records as well, and have an accurate picture of the service that Samoans provided in the Korean War.
>> Mm. Okay.
>> My name is [Indistinct]. I was born in [Indistinct] in the village of [Indistinct] What else?
>> December 1st, 1929.
>> Ooh, so how old were you when you joined the Army?
>> How old was I? I think I was 22 years old.
>> Mmm, so what year did you go to Korea?
>> I believe I got to Korea in 1953.
>> ’52? No, ’52.
>> What do you remember?
>> What do you remember?
>> In Korea?
>> Mm-hmm. You were a rifleman?
>> Yes, I was infantry.
>> Mmm, artillery.
>> No, infantry, foot soldier.
>> Koreans are very beautiful people, good-natured people, and we got along with them very well.
>> Which division did you belong to?
>> I was in the 2nd division.
>> 2nd ID? Oh, Indianhead!
>> “Second to none.”
>> “Second to none.”
>> “Second to none!”
>> Oh, wow, you know, the Indianhead is still in Korea now.
>> They still are in Korea. Indianhead 2nd ID is still in Korea …
>> … even now, yes. So did you see combat?
>> Oh, yes.
>> Oh. Do you remember any battle?
>> Pork Chop, Battle of Pork Chop.
>> You were in Pork Chop Hill? Can you tell us about that? It’s a very famous battle.
>> I was in outpost Tom, Dick and Harry.
>> Outpost Harry with the Greeks?
>> Yeah, I was in three different outposts, Tom, Dick and Harry, and I hate killing, but we had to do it [Indistinct] go to war. They’re very nice people. I think the North Koreans were nice people. Even though they were Communists, they were a very nice people.
>> Everybody had to do their job.
>> Yes. I can’t talk enough goodness about the country. The country is good, beautiful country, beautiful people.
>> You’ve been back? Have you ever visited?
>> No, never went back. Even if I had a chance to go back, I wouldn’t go back.
>> Why not?
>> Bad memories. I used to … I’ve been diagnosed with post-traumatic …
>> PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder.
>> Post-traumatic stress disorder.
>> Because you had to kill?
>> But I did pay for that, though. That’s … little good about that, not too much good.
>> What does it … How does it make you feel now, though? Because now South Korea is very prosperous. You know?
>> Well, if I had another chance, would there be another war?
>> I hope not.
>> I hope not. Senseless killing, I didn’t like it. They’re humans like everybody else.
>> Well, I know that even if you killed somebody, you know, God understands because it was during war, and it wasn’t, you know, it wasn’t evil inside you. It was you were doing your job so that you don’t get killed. You know?
>> It’s a job.
>> Yes, and I hope you know that what you did was to defend freedom, for people like me to be born into freedom, you know, instead of Communism. I was … I’m enjoying freedom, you know, and you defended freedom for the entire world, not you alone, but many of you. Right?
>> So you should be so proud, and I hope that you find healing and peace …
>> That’s the bad part, some friends didn’t come back.
>> I know, and so I’m here to honor them, too. You’re right. Some didn’t come back, and so I came here to say thank you to them.
>> Thank you. Do you have any other things that you want to talk about, maybe a story?
>> Well, it’s a very good country, very good country. They just got caught in a world event and things like that. There was no sense in it. When I come back, I decided to be a minister.
>> But you know what happened when I walked in the church? All the angels flew away.
>> So did you really … Did you become a pastor?
>> Pardon me?
>> So did you really become a pastor?
>> He was the head over our church for a little while.
>> My father is a pastor. My father is a minister.
>> Oh, yeah? Oh, good.
>> But, again, but God protected you. God loved you.
>> He saved you from the war, and He gave you blessing of health, yeah.
>> You know, it’s hard to forget the buddies that didn’t come back.
>> That’s why we have to keep remembering them and honoring them.
>> Yes, I know, and I’d like to go visit their folks, but I couldn’t, too much pain.
>> Well, thank you for your service.
>> Hi, everybody. I am here at the Veterans Affairs Department with, ta-da, my American-Samoan and Korean-War grandpas and their families, so I’m going to introduce you to them. So you met yesterday the Veterans VFW state commander, Inafo Maria.
>> Aloha, right? And then the post commander, Mr. Apu.
>> Okay. So here is my veteran grandpa. You can come a little closer. Your name is …
>> Suaka Shushba.
>> Yes. Grandpa Sua was in the Air Force, which is very rare, in 1950 …
>> 1952, so he flew to Korea carrying a …
>> Atomic bomb.
>> He carried an atomic bomb, but thank God, yeah, thank God he didn’t have to drop it, right? Yeah. If I remember correctly, General MacArthur kind of wanted to drop it, huh?
>> Wanted to drop it.
>> Yeah, but thank God that didn’t happen because Korea then would not exist today, maybe. Yes, and maybe I wouldn’t exist, so thank you for not dropping it.
>> [INAUDIBLE] protect Korea.
>> Yes. Thank you. Thank you. Look how young he looks. How old are you, Grandpa?
>> I’m 87 years old.
>> Eighty-seven, he’s looking young though.
>> He’s too young.
>> Yes. Now this is my second Korean-War-veteran grandpa with his lovely girlfriend and son, handsome son, right? Grandpa, your full name?
>> Yes. It’s a little bit long, but for short, I will call you my Grandpa … first name …
>> Beneva, Grandpa Beneva. He has an impeccable memory, and he was a combat veteran, right?
>> He served in some of the major battles of …
>> Outpost Harry.
>> Outpost Harry with the Greeks.
>> Pork Chop Hill.
>> Pork Chop Hill. Oh, by the way, everybody, do you have the … Well, he doesn’t have it, but he’s part of the Indianhead, the second ID. There’s a lot of Indianhead people watching this. So, “second to none,” right?
>> Second to none.
>> Second to none. Yes, yes. That’s it, so thank you, and what’s your name?
>> Gilbert Fiere.
>> Okay. What does it mean for you to have a father who served in the Korean War?
>> I’m very proud of my dad. He inspired me to join the service as well, and so I’m very proud of him.
>> Where did you serve?
>> First Persian Gulf War.
>> Oh, thank you for your service too. Thank you. Okay. Well, he’s not a Koren War veteran.
>> As you can see, he’s not that old, but his father …
>> His father was a Korean War veteran, and your father’s name is …
>> Edwin Robert Hollister.
>> Yes. Mr. Grandpa Edwin, he too also served in Desert Storm, so we have many families. Many of the members of the family served in the military and American Samoa. Per capita, right, number one, per capita, number one, and they have the spirit of serving the country, duty freedom, right, family, protecting family.
>> And so your father served what year, you said?
>> 1950 …
>> 19 …
>> … until 1953, somewhere that time.
>> Yeah, yes, and he served in the Army.
>> Army, yes.
>> Yes. Do you know what division or what …
>> No. I don’t know.
>> Yes. He doesn’t know, but he did say that his father was very proud, right?
>> He died 7 years ago?
>> No, back in …
>> Oh, it was ’75, 1975.
>> ’76. He passed away in 1976.
>> Oh, 1976, but he was born in 1925.
>> Oh, and he was a medic. Now it’s coming back to me.
>> He was a medic, yes.
>> Yes, he was a medic. He was a medic, so we have airmen. We have a combat veteran, and we have a medic in American Samoa in the Korean War. And this is a very special story, so I’m going to save you last.
>> Ladies, best for last, but his father …
>> Uncle, I’m sorry. His uncle also served in the Korean War, and so did he, right?
>> And your uncle inspired you to be tough, right? You said so.
>> Yeah. Everybody was scared of his uncle and his family, he said, right?
>> And what is your uncle’s name?
>> Name is Titae Fieme.
>> Yes, and we honor him and his memory. Now her uncle and her brave uncle also fought. So they’re all family here. Let’s show … What’s your name? What’s your name? She’s shy, but she’s very cute and pretty. Okay, so your uncle’s name is …
>> Masanisa Soripo Fanlan.
>> Yes, and her uncle, however, passed away, died, was killed in the Korean War.
>> Killed in action in August …
>> August 12th, 1950.
>> Yes, so as you remember, that was less than 2 months after the Korean War broke, and this was before the [INAUDIBLE] of MacArthur, so when your uncle fought was when the North Korean army, after invading the 38th Parallel, kept pushing down and down and down and down. So your uncle was part of the first major casualties that were suffered, and it was so touching because her family still remembers her uncle’s memory, but she never saw his picture. They don’t have a picture of their uncle, so they don’t know how he looks like, so they only remember him through the heart, and so I’m really hoping that I can find them …
>> A picture.
>> Yeah, get a picture so that they can see how handsome their uncle was, and I know your other sister is not here, but there was a song about his uncle. Can you sing that a little bit one more time?
>> I don’t know. I forgot the words.
>> My sister remembers.
>> Just a little bit.
>> The word of the song, it was done by my grandmother, his mom, and the word of the song goes like this in English: “Masani, where are you? Are you sleeping, or are you awake? Please come home.” That’s it.
>> And his mom was always waiting for him to come.
>> I think because he left when he was a young man, not an old man.
>> I call her my auntie, and I’m so, so honored you’re here, and I’m here to say thank you to your family and that your uncle’s service and sacrifice is not forgotten, okay?
>> Forever, and there are so many people out there who are grateful to you. I represent them. I’m here to represent everybody who’s grateful, not just by myself, okay?
>> All right. Thank you very much.
>> So thank you, everybody, and I’m just so happy to be here on this beautiful island. We still have [INAUDIBLE] to do and cemeteries to visit. We’re going to go visit her uncle’s grave later. So remember727.org. Thank you. Bye.
>> My name is Roy Laulusa. I’m a retired veteran. My dad passed away, and he was a World War II and a Korean veteran. His name is Tumu Pili Laulusa, and my second-to-the-oldest brother, he was a Korean veteran too. His name is Tumu Laulusa Jr., so we all, including myself, I had two tours. My first tour in Korea in ’72 to ’74. I was stationed in Daegu. My second tour of Korea, I was up at the DMZ from 1988 right after [INAUDIBLE] to 1990. I was over there. In my job in the Army, I was a weatherman in the Army. I support the Army live-fire place up there at the DMZ, and that’s our mission is fly weather balloon, so any time they want to fire live fire, we’ll be able to tell them what the weather is and everything, so I’m very proud to be a part of the veteran that served in Korea. I thank the Korean people for their hospitality and the custom I learned from Korea. Even over here in American Samoa, we have some Korean too, and they are very good people. Thank you to the Korean people.
>> Your father, what division, infantry, when did he serve? What year?
>> He was in … I don’t know what division, but he was in the Marine Corps. He was over there during the Korean War.
>> What year?
>> He was over there 1950. I think he deployed to Korea somewhere around August in 1950. He came back 1952. That’s when he came back. We were in Hawaii. Then he returned from over there. My older brother, when in Korea, is in the Air Force. He was over there too in 1950 to 1953.
>> Your older brother?
>> My older brother named Tumu.
>> He was there in 1950?
>> 1950, the later part of 1950.
>> But your father was there too.
>> My father was there.
>> Your father and your brother was there at the same time?
>> Yes, yes.
>> How is that possible?
>> I don’t know. Like me, when I went to touch the stone, me and …
>> How old was your father, and how old your brother?
>> My father was around … my father … my brother was around about … Because he’s 94 years old. Yeah. My brother is 94.
>> My father was probably, he was in the late 40 or roughly in the 50.
>> During the Korean War.
>> During the Korean War.
>> So he was older.
>> He was a old man.
>> Oh, my god, and he went to go to Korea when he was old? He was a officer?
>> He was a Marine, regular Marine, with a bayonet and a gun.
>> But he was over 40 years old?
>> He was over 40 years old.
>> And he went to serve …
>> … with 19 years old?
>> With the 19-year-old people.
>> The military accepted him?
>> That’s why they had to let him go. When he came back, they told him, “You got to retire.”
>> Oh, my goodness, because he was a World War II veteran too.
>> He was a World War II veteran.
>> Amazing. Wow. Can you spell your father’s name for us?
>> It’s … His name, his first name is Tumu, T, U, M, U, last name Pili, P, I, L, I, Laulusa, L, A, U, L, U, S, A.
>> And your brother’s name?
>> My brother’s name is Tumu too, T, U, M, U, last name Laulusa, L, A, U, L, U, S, A, too.
>> Amazing. Thank you to all three for your service.
>> Thank you. Even right now, my whole … All my niece and nephew, most of them they serve in the military …
>> … different branch, but they serve in. I know two of my niece that they both serve Korea.
>> Amazing. Thank you so much.
>> Thank you. Thank God, that’s the most thing.
>> Thank God.
>> Thank God for the blessing and for looking after us.
>> We’re here to honor your uncle, and we will pray and have a moment of silence in honor of his memory. [INAUDIBLE], and can you say out really loud the name of your uncle again?
>> Mantansa Solipo Faranai.
>> This uncle died in the Korean War on August 12th, 1950, right when the Korean War started. This is her great uncle, so the relatives are here to honor them, and he’s actually one of the four American Samoans who were killed in action, one of the four, and I believe about 100, we know, are registered as enlisted from this island, so as you can see, there’s some construction going on …
>> … that you can show because they’re …
>> Because the grave was relocated from there because they’re building a house, but you live nearby here?
>> Oh, but why is this grave here?
>> Well, because is this his family.
>> His mother’s side is from Pago Pago.
>> Yeah, so he’s buried here not at a cemetery somewhere else because his mother is from his area.
>> This is his mother’s land.
>> And it’s a beautiful area. Look at the mountains. Yes. It is just so beautiful. What is this area called?
>> Pago Pago.
>> Oh, is this area Pago Pago.
>> Pago Pago.
>> So this is the Pago Pago village. It is a beautiful … All of you were born on this island.
>> Right? Yeah, and so all of your are here to honor her, Rosie, from the Veterans Affairs office from the local … From the American Samoan Government and the [INAUDIBLE] the VFW chief [INAUDIBLE] commander, and David is with the Historical Society and films, and thank you to David. We’re all here to honor and be proud of your uncle, everyone continues to remember him because the purpose of my visit here is to let him know and let you guys know and let your entire family and all of American Samoa to know that their sacrifices have not been made in vain, and we remember, so thank you so much.
>> Hi. I am now at the grave site of Grandpa Joseph Giahopman. He died in the Korean War. He also served in World War II, and he died in Korea in 1951. It’s kind of hard to see, but it may be that, I don’t know, maybe married to a Samoan woman, but was buried here because it says from New York, so he’s definitely not Samoan, right?
>> Yeah, probably not …
>> Just a haole. Yeah.
>> Okay. However, look at how beautiful this place. What is this called? It’s Pago Pago?
>> Pago Pago.
>> What is the water called, body of water.
>> It’s Pago Pago Harbor.
>> Pago Pago Harbor.
>> Okay, and it is beautiful. It’s not raining today anymore, but I also found something very interesting, and so I’m going to show you, so I noticed that grave marks with Korean characters. Of course, me being Korean, I’m like, “What is that? That is very weird,” and David told me … He’s with the Historical Society, tells me that the fishing industry, the tuna industry became very popular in what year?
>> In the early 1950s.
>> 1950, so that’s the …
>> Same time.
>> … same time of Korea War. Oh, my goodness, and so a lot of fishermen that came here were Korean, so when they were sending American Samoans to fighting in Korea, they were here fishing, and many of them died, so they asked for a plot of land where they could bury the fishermen, and so here they are. It’s amazing. Wow. It says Satala Korean Fishermen cemetery, “[FOREIGN LANGUAGE],” so they are all these fishermens raised here. It is so amazing, so the connection between, I guess, the Korean people and American Samoans are not just … has not ended just in terms of the Korean War, but the fishing industry because I want to give a shoutout to the StarKist Corporation, which is now owned by Cowon, and they sponsored our lunch today with the veterans, and so I’m very proud because it makes the veterans very proud knowing that they sacrificed for people who work really hard to become so prosperous and to give back and to say thank you, and so that’s why I’m here, to say thank you, and so here once again, thank you to my grandpa. I came because you didn’t return home and on this beautiful harbor and this mountain, so talofa everybody and [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] 감사합니다 and thank you. Bye.