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Since the first arrival of Europeans onto Turtle Island, Indigenous Americans – (American Indians, Alaskan Natives and Native Hawaiians) – have enlisted and volunteered for the armed services at a higher rate than any other segment of the population.
According to government officials during World War II, if all other races had enlisted at the same rate as Indigenous Americans, selective service and the draft would not have been necessary.
So – no matter how you feel about Hawaii and its relationship with the United States – remember that your relatives may have chosen to wear the uniform and fight for freedom because they felt it was the right thing to do at that time and place. Had our kupuna not fought, we might live in a different world than the one we now enjoy.
Take a moment to read this great article about Native American (and Hawaiian) service members in Indian-Country Today.