Medal of Honor recipient Daniel Ken Inouye — An American Hero

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jennell Clark
  • 90th Comptroller Squadron Finanicial Management Flight chief
Born September 7, 1924, in Honolulu, Hawaii, Daniel Inouye was the son of Japanese immigrants. At the age of 17, he served as a medical volunteer after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Once the ban on Japanese American enlistments ended, he joined the U.S. Army.

Within his first year of service, he was promoted to sergeant. Then for his courageous acts in France, he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant. In 1945 while fighting in Italy, he lost his right arm but was allowed to stay in the Army until 1947. At the rank of captain, Inouye left the service with a Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart and Distinguished Service Cross. Later on his Distinguished Service Cross was upgraded to the Medal of Honor by President Bill Clinton.

His service to his country didn't stop there. Inouye has represented Hawaii in Congress since it became a state in 1959. At the time of his death in 2012, he was the most senior US senator and the second-longest serving US senator. He had so much seniority that he was the President pro tempore, meaning he was fourth in the presidential line of succession.

Inouye personifies the Asian Pacific American. Not only did he fight courageously for his country during World War II, but also he represented Hawaii in the hall of Congress for more than 50 years. For his service to so many, he is a real American hero.