10/13 Pago Pago, American Samoa (1)

>> 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.

>> … Yaputo …

>> Avengario.

>> … 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.

>> Wow.

>> I’m glad that you came.

>> Aw.

>> 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?

>> ’52.

>> 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].

>> Hmm.


>> Oh.

>> 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.

>> What?

>> 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.

>> Oh.

>> 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].

>> Hmm.

>> When I told him I’m involved back in Vietnam.

>> Yes, you served in Korea and Vietnam.

>> Yeah.

>> 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?

>> Vietnam.

>> Both in Vietnam?

>> Yeah, and [INAUDIBLE].

>> Oh, all three Bronze Stars in Vietnam?

>> Yeah.

>> Not in Korea?

>> Korea, I could [INAUDIBLE].

>> Oh.

[ Chatter ]

>> Combat.

>> Combat.

>> 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.

>> Yes.

>> Okay.

>> Seventh Regiment and …

>> Third Division, Seventh Regiment.

>> Yes.

>> … and First Battalion.

>> First Battalion, okay.

>> Third Division.

>> Yes.

>> Seventh Regiment and First Battalion.

>> Yes.

>> Division, regiment then battalion.

>> Yes.

>> 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 …

>> Discrimination.

>> Oh, there was some struggle because the part of the Third Division, the other regiment comes from Puerto Rico.

>> Oh.

>> So …

>> Puerto Rican, Hispanic.

>> Puerto Rican.

>> No one understands each other.

>> Oh.

>> 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.

>> 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].

>> Oh.

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.

>> Yes.

>> 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.

>> Yeah.

>> But Diauli Maneva .

>> Oh, no, I don’t know him.

>> Papa, how old are you?

>> Huh?

>> How old are you?

>> Eighty-eight.

>> 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?

>> Yes.

>> 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.

>> Okay.

>> 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.