Japanese American Veterans Association


Vol. 5, No. 64, August 1, 2023

JAVA's Fourth Annual Day of Affirmation!

JAVA President Gerald Yamada, 2023 Day of Affirmation, National World War II Memorial, Washington, DC. Photo: Nicole Yamada.

It was a weekend of commemoration and celebration for the Japanese American Veterans Association (JAVA) as they held the fourth annual Day of Affirmation Wreath Ceremony at the National World War II Memorial on Saturday, July 15th, and a luncheon the next day at The Army and Navy Club in Washington, DC.

With overcast skies offering some relief from the noonday sun, JAVA members and friends along with curious tourists listened to President Gerald Yamada’s remarks which paid tribute to the returning Nisei World War II soldiers whom President Harry S. Truman reviewed on the White House Ellipse on July 15, 1946. President Truman’s salute on that historic afternoon to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team: “You fought not only the enemy, but you fought prejudice – and you have won…,” affirms that all the Japanese American soldiers, men, and women, who served during World War II are America’s heroes and removes any doubt that they are loyal citizens of the United States of America and was the source of JAVA’s now annual tradition.

As onlookers paused to consider Yamada’s words which called to mind the legacy created by the thirty-three thousand Japanese American men and women who served in World War II, the military escort and wreath bearers who represented three generations of the family of local centenarian, former JAVA Executive Director and RCT 442nd veteran Terry Shima, processed with the wreath to the Price of Freedom Wall. After a moment of silence in front of the Wall, the sound of Taps brought a somber close to the ceremony.

Three generations of the Shima family during the playing of Taps, L-R: Donovan Trexler, Kelly Shima, Eileen Shima Roulier, Eric Shima, and Mike Shima, Price of Freedom Wall, National World War II Memorial, Washington, DC. Photo: Nicole Yamada.

Taps, Bugler Staff Sergeant Craig Basarich, U.S. Army Band, JAVA Day of Affirmation Wreath Ceremony, July 15, 2023. National WWII Memorial, Washington, DC. Photo: Nicole Yamada.



July 15, 2023 

Opening Remarks (as prepared)

National World War II Memorial, Washington, DC 

Gerald Yamada, JAVA President

JAVA Day of Affirmation Wreath, Price of Freedom Wall, National WWII Memorial, Washington, DC, July 15, 2023. Photo: Nicole Yamada.

The Japanese American Veterans Association is proud to sponsor this Day of Affirmation Ceremony to honor the legacy forged by the valor and patriotism of the Japanese American men and women who served during World War II.  They put themselves in harm’s way to prove that they are proud and loyal Americans.  Faced with overt prejudice and hostile distrust of their ethnicity, they kept their faith in the American dream of equal opportunity.  They were willing to show that they deserved to have the same treatment and rights afforded to all Americans. 

Thirty-three thousand Japanese Americans served.  We honor them today and every day as America’s heroes.  We especially remember the almost 800 Japanese American soldiers who died during the war represented by 8 of the gold stars on this Memorial’s Price of Freedom Wall. 

On this date and hour 77 years ago, President Harry S. Truman saluted the returning segregated all Japanese American 442nd Regimental Combat Team, on the White House Ellipse, by stating that "You fought not only the enemy, but you fought prejudice – and you have won.  Keep up that fight, and we will continue to win – to make this great Republic stand for just what the Constitution says it stands for: the welfare of all the people all the time.” 

The President’s salute affirmed that Japanese Americans are loyal citizens of the United States of America and are entitled to equal protection under the law. 

The military escort and wreath bearers for today’s Day of Affirmation Ceremony represent three generations of Terry Shima’s family. Terry Shima is a veteran of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and is JAVA’s former Executive Director.  He celebrated his 100th birthday earlier this year.  Due to the extreme heat, Terry is understandably not able to join us today.  We wish him well.

The military escort is Terry’s son Mike Shima, who is assisted by his son Eric Shima. Following his father’s legacy of service, Mike served in the U.S. Army.

One of the wreath bearers is Eileen Shima Roulier, who is Terry’s daughter. The other wreath bearer is Mike Shima’s daughter, Kelly Shima, who is assisted by her son, Donovan Trexler.

Let’s have the wreath presentation proceed to the Price of Freedom Wall.

In honor of those who served, I ask you to face the Freedom Wall, bow your heads, and observe a moment of silence.


For all those who served, thank you for your service. 


That concludes our program.  Thank you for joining us to celebrate the fourth annual Day of Affirmation.    

A moment of silence. Three generations of the Shima family, L-R: Donovan Trexler, Kelly Shima, Eileen Shima Roulier, Eric Shima, and Mike Shima, Price of Freedom Wall, National World War II Memorial, Washington, DC. Photo: Nicole Yamada.

Day of Affirmation Luncheon

The Army and Navy Club

Day of Affirmation Luncheon, July 16, 2023 at The Army and Navy Club, Washington, DC. L-R: Jim McCallum. Stan Fujii, Chris DeRosa, Richard Banh (hidden from view), Rod Azama, Michelle Amano, Linda Adams, Janice Faden (hidden from view), Eileen Roulier, and Rich Roulier. Photo: Nicole Yamada.

Day of Affirmation Luncheon, July 16, 2023 at The Army and Navy Club, Washington, DC. L-R: Mindy Kotler, Bob Vokac, Howard Fireman, Karen Fireman, May Huang, Antoinette Phelps, Mark Nakagawa, Carol Nakagawa, and Mark Koiwai. Photo: Nicole Yamada.

Day of Affirmation Luncheon, July 16, 2023, at The Army and Navy Club, Washington, DC. L-R: Nancy Yamada, Neet Ford, Michael Katahara, Allison Grove, Landon Grove, Gerald Yamada, Loree Katahara, Micah Katahara, and Howard High. Photo: Nicole Yamada. 

Commemoration activities also included a luncheon at The Army and Navy Club downtown. In addition to a welcome address by Gerald Yamada, the program featured guest speaker, Landon Grove, Director and Curator of the Ritchie History Museum, who shared with the group a fascinating history of Camp Ritchie. Although Camp Ritchie, located in Cascade, Maryland, had its start as a training base for the Maryland National Guard, during World War II, the Army took it over and U.S. soldiers, the majority of whom were immigrants, were trained in German, Italian, and French to decode enemy communications and interrogate prisoners of war captured in Europe. One class of approximately 500 Nisei men and women also utilized their language skills and trained at Camp Ritchie. According to Mr. Grove, Camp Ritchie was "perhaps the most important installation during WWII at producing soldiers trained in intelligence gathering." In the late 1990s, the Camp was closed, abandoned, and fell into disrepair. It is now in private hands and is being developed with historic preservation as a priority. 

Ritchie History Museum Director and Curator, Landon Grove presents history of Camp Ritchie, Cascade, MD. Day of Affirmation Luncheon, July 16, 2023. Photo: Nicole Yamada. 

One of the Ritchie History Museum’s projects that Mr. Grove spearheads is fundraising for the eventual restoration of a previously boarded up and neglected mural discovered in a Camp Ritchie building. The mural is believed to have been painted by “Ritchie Boy” Nobuo Kitagaki who after World War II became an established artist. The large mural features four Nisei ceramic artists at work and although it is unsigned, it bears striking similarities to Kitagaki's work, particularly a sketch by him pictured in a 1945 Fort Snelling art contest book, Solider Art. Considering that many of Camp Ritchie’s handsome stone buildings were vandalized by graffiti and also suffered water damage, amazingly, the mural, other than areas of chipping paint, survived intact. Grove told listeners that when the mural is restored, it will be displayed in a building that will house the works of artisans from the local area. Before wrapping up his talk, Mr. Grove invited all to make the 90-mile drive from DC to Cascade, MD, and visit the museum.

After the presentation concluded, Gerald Yamada presented Mr. Grove with a JAVA coin and a framed image of USPS' Go For Broke: Japanese American Soldiers of WWII stamp. Appreciative applause from all in attendance for Mr. Grove and his work at the Ritchie History Museum followed. 

(Click here to watch Landon Grove's presentation on Camp Ritchie at the Army and Navy Club on Sunday, July 16, 2023. To learn more about the Ritchie History Museum, please visit the website: https://www.ritchiemuseum.org).

JAVA President Gerald Yamada presents Ritchie History Museum Director and Curator, Landon Grove with framed image of USPS' Go For Broke: Japanese American Soldiers of WWII stamp, Day of Affirmation Luncheon, July 16, 2023. Photo: Nicole Yamada. 

Although it was not announced ahead of time, Gerald Yamada, on behalf of the JAVA Executive Council presented a JAVA Commemorative Coin and the JAVA Book Clock Award to Neet Ford for her five years of service and commitment to JAVA. In addition to thanking her, he expressed his appreciation for her wholehearted enthusiasm and dedication to JAVA. The Award read:

The Japanese Veterans Association

Presented to

Anita "Neet" Ford

For Exemplary and Dedicated Service

as JAVA Executive Director

With Our Heartfelt Appreciation


June 30, 2023

After stating that she had a sneaking suspicion (aroused during an innocent conversation with a JAVA member) that she might be called to the podium, Neet expressed she was honored by the award and shared that her work for JAVA was a wonderful combination of being both "meaningful and fun" and that she was very grateful for the many ways JAVA has enriched her life - the rich and abundant friendships, the opportunity to work alongside so many talented and thoughtful individuals, and the powerful and inspirational Nisei WWII story.

Following announcements, JAVA Vice President Howard High brought the Day of Affirmation luncheon to a formal close, yet JAVA members and friends lingered for some time afterward at The Army and Navy Club - a sure sign that everyone enjoyed the lunch, the talk, and the chance to be with each other. 

JAVA President Gerald Yamada presents Neet Ford with the JAVA Book Clock Award, Day of Affirmation Luncheon, July 16, 2023. Photo: Nicole Yamada. 

Stan Fujii and Chris DeRosa. Day of Affirmation Luncheon, July 16, 2023. Photo: Nicole Yamada. 

L-R: Linda Adams, Nancy Yamada, and Janice Faden. Day of Affirmation Luncheon, July 16, 2023. Photo: Nicole Yamada.  


July 16, 2023 

Opening Remarks (as prepared)

The Army and Navy Club, Washington, DC 

Gerald Yamada, JAVA President

Ritchie History Museum Director and Curator, Landon Grove Yamada. Day of Affirmation Luncheon, July 16, 2023. Photo: Nicole Yamada. 

Yesterday, July 15th, the Japanese American Veterans Association commemorated the fourth annual Day of Affirmation wreath ceremony at the National World War II Memorial.  This was the 77th anniversary of President Truman honoring the returning 442nd Regimental Combat Team at the White House Ellipse in 1946. 

JAVA’s Day of Affirmation ceremony is important to celebrate what the 33,000 Japanese American men and women who served in World War II achieved.  In the face of overt prejudice and hostile distrust of their ethnicity, they served to defend the very freedoms that they were denied.  They kept their faith in America’s opportunities and believed that they were entitled to equal treatment under the law.  They proved that they are loyal US citizens by putting themselves in harm’s way and serving with personal courage and valor. 

The 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team were segregated all Japanese American combat units except for the officers.  The 100th Infantry Battalion served 8 months in combat.  The 442nd Regimental Combat Team served 5 months in combat.  During that time, they rescued the “Texas Lost Battalion” and liberated Jewish prisoners at the Nazi death camp known as Dachau.  They pierced the Gothic line in little over 30 minutes, allowing the Allied Forces to invade Germany and resulting in Germany’s surrender two weeks later. 

The 100th Infantry Battalion/442n Regimental Combat Team received 7 Presidential Unit Citations, 21 Medals of Honor, 29 Distinguished Service Crosses, 371 Silver Star, and 5,200 Bronze Star Medals, and over 4,000 Purple Hearts – all within 5-8 months of combat. 

Japanese American soldiers also served in the Pacific in a different capacity.  They had a very decisive role in ending the war with Japan.  They served as interpreters, translators, and interrogators trained at the Military Intelligence Service Language School.  They were assigned to military units fighting in the Pacific during the war and helped with Japan’s post-war recovery.  They are credited with collecting timely intelligence that was used to win battles and save American lives.  Because their work was classified and kept secret, no public recognition was given to their contribution until recently. 

They, together with members of the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team, were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2011.

As did the President 77 years ago, we are here today to honor the Japanese Americans who served during World War II as America’s heroes.  


July 16, 2023 

Notes (as prepared)

The Army and Navy Club, Washington, DC 

Neet Ford, outgoing JAVA Executive Director

JAVA President Gerald Yamada and Neet Ford, Day of Affirmation Luncheon, July 16, 2023. Photo: Nicole Yamada. 

I feel so incredibly fortunate to have worked side by side with all of you – and I mean all of you – the Executive Council, JAVA members, volunteers, reseachers, scholarship donors and awardees, sister organization members, all of your families, and of course Terry Shima – the work has been both meaningful and fun. From the start, I just loved all the bold Hawaiian shirts and the energy in the new words – mahalo, gaman.  

But truly, heaps of praise and thanks go to Gerald, who has been a pathbreaking leader – instituting the annual Day of Affirmation but also pragmatic – kicking off JAVA’s first annual fundraising campaign. And there are so many more things he has done to improve and streamline JAVA operations which has made my job easier. He also has been wonderfully tolerant of my many mistakes and failings along the way. He is balanced, deliberate, calm, encouraging – which is just a beautiful contrast to my natural state of panic. And very willing to carefully consider when I offer a different point of view. Finally, he has been understanding and consoling during personal challenges. It has been a deep pleasure to work with you Gerald.

All of you have been endlessly kind and so helpful, always willing to lend a hand and do whatever needs to be done – you have really made my job a joy.

And in addition to all of this, learning the story of the WWII Nisei soldiers. The story has all the makings of a tall tale – regional, larger-than-life individuals, amazing feats, deathly struggle – but in the case of the Nisei, it’s all true.  The Nisei show me what it means to be an American – a nation based on ideals – ones they lived up to. Once you know their story, it’s really hard to complain about anything – you name it - the government, the weather, things not being fair, family in dire circumstances, anxiety and fear about the future – the Nisei experienced it all and took the high road. I am grateful to have their story as a lamppost. I feel certain that JAVA’s unwavering work to share and celebrate the Nisei soldiers’ story, will inspire more Americans to see and act differently with those ideals in mind.

Lastly, I have to say I love the Camp Ritchie mural – the making of a craft during a war, very troubled times – the images speak to tenderness, care, and hope.  

Thank you all so much. 

389th Military Intelligence Battalion

(Special Operations) (Airborne)

By CPT Wade Ishimoto, USA (Ret)

The 389th Military Intelligence Battalion is the United States Army’s intelligence support battalion assigned to the 1st Special Forces Command at Fort Liberty, North Carolina.  The battalion was activated in July 2019.  It is deployed in support of 1st Special Forces Command units and joint special operations task forces around the world.  Recent deployments have been to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.  The Battalion provides a full spectrum of intelligence support to include human intelligence, signal intelligence and cyber operations, intelligence analysis, and exploitation of captured information and equipment.  The battalion consists of five regionally oriented teams to provide global support to special operations.

The battalion has a long history.  Of note to JAVA readers, the start of the 389th Military Intelligence Battalion was the 389th Translator Team which was activated in February 1945.  That team consisted of Nisei linguists from the Military Intelligence Service.  The team supported the operations of the 96th Army Division in Leyte, Philippines, and during the battle of Okinawa.  It was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation. It was subsequently sent to Korea and deactivated in 1947.  Over the years since 1947, it has been activated and deactivated several times as a Detachment, a company, and now a full battalion.

Thank You for Your Membership and Support!

JAVA Elections Call for Nominations

In accordance with JAVA’s By-laws, the Nominations Committee is preparing to nominate JAVA members for each of the four elected Offices: President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary. 

Should you desire to be considered for one of those positions, please submit your name and a short summary (no more than one page) of your qualifications and desire to run for any of the elected offices. The deadline for submission is Friday, December 1, 2023. These Officers will serve a two year term beginning in February 2024. Your submissions should be sent to Nominations Chair Dawn Eilenberger at dawn.eilenberger@java-us.org.

Election Timeline:

  • Slate of Candidates will be presented to the membership by January 6, 2024.
  • Email voting will take place from January 6 to 28, 2024.
  • Proxy email voting will take place from January 6 to 26, 2024.
  • Election results will be announced at the General Membership Meeting on February 10, 2024.

JAVA Vice President Howard High Meets MIS Veteran at Defining Courage Performance

L-R: Karen Cuchet (Howard's sister), JAVA Vice President Howard High, and Eddie Nakamura, MIS, WWII Veteran, at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, CA, after the June 7, 2023, performance of “Defining Courage.” Photo: Courtesy of Howard High. 

Dr. Takumi and Doris Izuno Laid to Rest at Arlington National Cemetery

Izuno Siblings, L-R: CAPT (Dr.) Cynthia Macri, MC, USN (Ret)Christine Izuno Zwick, Forrest Izuno, Laurel Izuno Fagenson, and Nancy Izuno. Arlington National Cemetery Columbarium, June 26, 2023. Photo: Courtesy of Izuno Family.

Forrest Izuno, Arlington National Cemetery Columbarium, June 26, 2023. Photo: Courtesy of Izuno Family.

Forrest Izuno

June 26, 2023 



Dr. Takumi and Doris Izuno

Arlington National Cemetery Columbarium

[EdNote: On Monday, June 26, 2023, Executive Council member CAPT (Dr.) Cynthia Macri, MC, USN (Ret) and her siblings along with other Izuno family and friends gathered at Arlington National Cemetery Columbariaum to pay tribute to Dr. Takumi and Doris Izuno.] 

I’d like to thank you all for coming today. It means a lot to us and we know it means a lot to Doris and Takumi.

My comments on behalf of the Izuno family will be brief. Mom would always say, “tell me now, don’t wait until I’m dead.” I believe that throughout life, and during the past several years caring for Mom and Dad, we have told them, and shown them, our love, devotion and gratitude for providing us with incredible lives and opportunities. We, in turn, came to more fully understand their unconditional love for us. I do believe that all has been said.

As we gather today to inurn Mom and Dad, I can honestly say that Arlington National Cemetery as their final destination is a fitting honor for them on so many different levels. Dad served our country directly through his service in the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Service, including deployment to Korea; Mom served through her hard work as a child on the family farm during World War 2, collecting eggs and plucking chickens to feed the soldiers at Schofield Barracks while dad was separated from his father and interned with his family. Takumi and Doris were married on August 8, 1953, less than a month after Takumi’s return from Korea. From that day forward, they continued to serve the world together in the name of the United States of America. Today, they are back together again for eternity, physically and spiritually.

During their 68-year marriage, they became greatly respected and loved citizens of the world, through Takumi’s work in international agricultural development in the United States, Egypt, Pakistan, India, Mexico, Africa, and throughout South and Southeast Asia, and through Doris’s work with school children as a teacher and librarian at their various postings. Throughout their years overseas, Doris was a partner in Takumi’s work, always providing him with guidance and sage counsel. They retired in McAllen, Texas, after 36 years of exemplary service to mankind. 

We all have our special memories of them. We will always remember the countless jigsaw puzzles we did with Mom, and I mean countless, her happy smile, and her guidance. We will remember Dad’s eternal optimism, his playing games with us, his request for us to serve humanity when he wanted coffee. We will forever remember their love and devotion to each other, their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, extended family and friends.

Mom and Dad were a remarkable couple who raised 5 kids, while living an incredible life together in incredible places during incredible times. They were always adventurous, adaptable, resilient and loving. They lived life right.

In closing, I ask that we take the time to reflect on the depth and breadth of their lifelong service to god, country and to the betterment of the human condition, and how they gave their all for family and friends.

Thank you.

The Man who Found a High School Class Ring Lost in World War II, Belonging to a Medal of Honor, 442nd RCT Soldier, will be Hosted by the Hawaii Family.

Honolulu, July 28, 2023 - The man who found the 1940 Farrington High

School class ring, belonging to Staff Sergeant Robert T. Kuroda, a member of the the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT) “Go For Broke!”, and a

recipient of the Medal of Honor, will be hosted by the Kuroda family during his

first visit to Hawaii this week.

The ring was found by SÉBASTIEN ROURE, who lives in the Vosges region

of France, in the vicinity where the 442nd RCT fought to liberate the town of

Bruyères from the Germans in late 1944.

Roure, with his friends, frequent the battlefields with metal detectors, finding

artifacts in the areas where the fiercest fighting took place.

Roure found the ring on November 13, 2021, after being lost for more than 80


The center of the gold ring has an image of the Farrington High School

administration building. Inscribed above, on an outer circle; ‘Wallace Rider

Farrington High School’. On the bottom of the ring; ‘Enter to Learn, Go Forth to

Serve’. The class year, ’19’ and ’40’ adorn the right and left ring band. On the

inside of the ring is engraved; ‘R Kuroda’.

Roure immediately began his search for the family of ‘R Kuroda’. He found

several newspaper articles about Robert Kuroda and ‘Kuroda Auto Body’ online, and hoped this was the ‘Kuroda Family’ he was seeking.

Kuroda Auto Body Shop was originally founded by Ronald Kuroda, Robert’s

older brother.

Because he did not speak English, Roure enlisted the help of his cousin,

Brigitte Van Nice, who lives in Iowa, to make contact with the Kuroda family.

Van Nice was put in contact with Kevin Kuroda, Robert Kuroda’s nephew, and

son of Joe ‘Jumbo’ Kuroda, Robert’s sole living brother.

On November 17, 2021, Kevin Kuroda and Sébastien Roure made first email

contact via Van Nice.

Early in May, 2022, with the easing of COVID travel restrictions between the US and Europe, Kevin Kuroda, and wife, Mary, made the trip to Épinal, France to personally receive Robert’s ring.

“The return of my uncle’s ring is HUGE!”, said Kevin Kuroda. “It is another

reminder of the service and sacrifice of all the Nisei Soldiers and their families;

Soldiers who went to war to prove their loyalty to the United States, and did not

return home.” Kuroda added.

“More importantly, it is very personal, bringing my Uncle Robert closer to all generations of the Kuroda family, who know his story, but did not meet him, including myself.”, Kuroda said.

The ring, will eventually join Kuroda’s Medal of Honor; in a secured display

case, in the customer lobby of Kuroda Auto Body in Waipio.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please contact Howard Sugai, Kuroda Family Media Spokesperson & Coordinator, at sugaiht@me.com, or text/cel: (808) 783-8655.

VA to Review Possible Connections between Toxic Exposures and Acute Leukemia, Chronic Leukemia, and Multiple Myeloma

WASHINGTON — Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it will conduct a scientific review to determine whether there is a relationship between three conditions — acute leukemias, chronic leukemias, and multiple myeloma outside of the head and neck — and toxic exposures for service members who deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Uzbekistan, and the entire Southwest Asia theater of operations.

This scientific review will help VA determine whether these conditions become presumptive conditions for Veterans. When a condition is considered presumptive, eligible Veteransdo not need to prove that their service caused their disease to receive benefits for it; instead, VA automatically assumes service-connection for the disease and provides benefits accordingly.

This review is a part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to expand benefits and services for toxic-exposed Veterans and their families. These three conditions will go through VA’s new and improved process for establishing presumptive conditions, which was codified by President Biden’s signing of the PACT Act — the largest expansion of Veteran care and benefits in generations. This process considers all available science and data — including Veteran claims data — to establish new presumptives, when appropriate, for Veterans as quickly as possible.

“We won’t rest until we understand whether there’s a connection between these deadly conditions and the service of our nation’s heroes,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “But make no mistake: Veterans shouldn’t wait for this review process to conclude to apply for the support they deserve. If you’re a Veteran living with acute leukemia, chronic leukemia, or multiple myeloma, don’t wait — apply for your VA care and benefits today.”

Although these conditions are not yet considered presumptive, it’s important to note that VA does not require a condition or location to be presumptive to grant benefits for it. When a Veteran applies for benefits (in the absence of a presumptive condition), VA considers their claim on a case-by-case basis and grants disability compensation benefits if sufficient evidence shows the Veteran has a disability related to their military service. VA encourages Veterans who live with these conditions to apply for VA health care and benefits today.

Cancers of the head and neck are already considered presumptive under the PACT Act, so this research will focus solely on acute leukemias, chronic leukemias, and multiple myeloma originating outside of the head and neck.

These conditions were chosen for scientific review based on existing scientific data and close consultations with Veterans, Veteran Service Organizations, Congress, and other key stakeholders. While these are the first conditions to be announced for scientific review since the PACT Act passed into law, VA will review many additional conditions moving forward.

In addition to codifying the new presumptive review process, the PACT Act added presumptives for more than 20 presumptive disease categories. Since President Biden signed the PACT Act into law Aug. 10, VA has delivered more than $1.6 billion in PACT Act-related benefits to Veterans and their survivors. Additionally: 

  • More than 700,000 Veterans have applied for PACT Act-related benefits.
  • More than 4 million Veterans have received the new toxic exposure screening.
  • More than 300,000 Veterans have enrolled in VA health care (43,000 more enrollments than the same time frame last year, including 98,000 enrollees from the PACT Act target population).

VA is soliciting public comment about this decision via the Federal Register. The public will have a 30-day period to provide comments. View the notice and submit comments here.

VA encourages all eligible Veterans and survivors to file a claim — or submit their intent to file a claim — for PACT Act-related benefits now. Veterans who do so on or before Aug. 9 may have their benefits, if granted, backdated to Aug. 10, 2022.

For more information about the PACT Act and a full list of presumptive conditions covered under the law, visit VA.gov/PACT

Upcoming JAVA Events

Thursday, September 21 –  Opening Eric Saul’s WWII Nisei Soldiers Photo Exhibit, Japanese Information & Culture Center.

Wednesday, November 8 - Exhibit Talk on Eric Saul's WWII Nisei Soldiers Photo Exhibit, Japanese Information & Culture Center.

Saturday, November 11– Veterans Day Program, National Japanese  American Memorial. Keynote Speaker: Major Michael H. Yamamoto, U.S. Army.

Questions or Suggestions: Please contact Neet Ford at javapotomac@gmail.com.

Japanese American Veterans Association:  Address: P.O. Box 341198, Bethesda, MD 20827 I www.java-us.org.