Our Mission

Our mission is to educate current and future generations about the extraordinary legacy of American WWII soldiers of Japanese ancestry in order to promote equality and justice.

Watch the Nisei Soldier Story

An American Story

We share the extraordinary stories and lessons of the Japanese American soldiers who served during World War II.

Watch the Nisei Soldier Story

The latest from the NVN

#GivingTuesday – Donate Now to Honor the Nisei Soldiers
This #GivingTuesday, the National Veterans Network is raising funds for the US Army’s “I Am An American: the Nisei Soldier Experience” Traveling Exhibition. Donate now to support the 11-city National Tour!
NVN Awarded National Park Service JACS grant
NVN awarded a grant from the JACS program that will support the “I Am An American: the Nisei Soldier Experience,” an 11-city traveling exhibition that launches in 2026
Teacher Training Institute: Japanese American WWII experience
NVN and Smithsonian APAC presents 3-day Teacher Training Institute on the Japanese American World War II experience for elementary and middle school teachers at the Smithsonian
National Veterans Network Announces “I Am An American” Traveling Exhibition Theme
Seeking an original “I Am An American” sign that was displayed during WWII, and photos, letters, diary entries or any items that show the Nisei Soldier expressing their identity as an American.
Chicago Nisei Post #1183 Illinois Fundraising Campaign
Donate to the Chicago Nisei Post #1183 Illinois Campaign to become a national sponsor of the Nisei Soldier Traveling Exhibition.
Oregon Educators: Application open for Teacher Training Institute
Elementary and middle school teachers: apply for a three-day teacher training institute on the Japanese American World War II experience this summer 2023 at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.
NVN Announces Two National Programs
NVN will work with the National Museum of the United States Army and Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center on two national initiatives on the Japanese American WWII Soldier Experience
Standing on the Shoulder of Giants Dinner
The NVN hosted Veterans Day dinner program in Washington D.C. to recognize the 33,000 Japanese American WWII Nisei Soldiers. Speakers included WWII veteran Mutsuo “Muts” Hirose, General Eric K. Shinseki, Admiral Harry Harris, Erika Moritsugu and Leslie Tramer.
Meeting with Oregon Educators
NVN meets with Oregon’s education community on October 4 to introduce elementary and middle school lessons on the Japanese American World War II experience
NBC TODAY: Japanese American soldiers fought loyally for a country that didn’t always love them back
Read TODAY article featuring 442nd veterans Iwao Yonemitsu and Terry Shima, and a highlight of our Nisei Soldier Teacher Training Institute
Memorial Day 2022
On this Memorial Day, we remember the sacrifice of George Sawada, a medic in the 100th/442nd RCT. Read the letter he wrote to his father before going overseas to Europe.
Passing of Secretary Norman Mineta
The National Veterans Network is deeply saddened by the loss of a great American, Secretary Norman Mineta. We will always remember his leadership, wisdom and his unwavering commitment to share the Japanese American WWII experience.
Nisei Soldier Teacher Training Institute
Are you a high school teacher interested in teaching about the Japanese American World War II experience in your classroom? We are pleased to announce free training for 20 teachers in Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia and Illinois. Participants will receive education and training on 100th/442nd/MIS object based lessons.
College Students: NextGen Conversation on Anti-Asian Hate
Join us as the NVN is hosting a Next Gen Conversation on May 19 for college students to learn about the Japanese American WWII experience and engage in a group discussions about the alarming rise in Anti-Asian hate and how it is impacting their lives today.
#Beijing2022Winter Olympics: Four-part Series on Olympic Gold Medalist Kristi Yamaguchi
We are excited to launch a new four-part series highlighting U.S. Olympic athlete Kristi Yamaguchi. Learn about her grandfather’s military service in World War II and how she has continued to carry on her family’s legacy of leadership and perseverance.
2022 NextGen Series: Alana Nakamoto
NextGen participant Alana Nakamoto expressed her interest in learning more about her great-grandfather’s service during WWII: “Since he passed when I was 2, I didn’t really get to know him, but I have heard many stories about him and his life in the army. But I would love to know more!”
Historical Posts: 100th/442nd Medic Series
Follow a new series on the medics of the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team! Each month we will highlight a Japanese American Nisei WWII soldier who served with the 100th/442nd Medical Detachments. View 442nd Medic, Toshiaki Kuge’s story and photo collection.
November 2, 2021: Watch the 10th Anniversary of Nisei Soldier Congressional Gold Medal
Learn about the two-year year national effort to secure the Congressional Gold Medal to the 100th, 442nd and MIS
Olympic Athletes Honor WWII Veteran Grandfather
Brothers and Olympic athletes, Kawika and Erik Shoji, paid tribute to their late grandfather, Kobe Shoji, a decorated WWII veteran of the 442nd RCT.
Takashi Halo Hirose
In honor of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, the NVN highlights Takashi Halo Hirose, Japanese American World War II veteran who qualified for the 1940 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Go For Broke Stamp and Booklet
The USPS released the Go For Broke stamp, recognizing the 33,000 American soldiers of Japanese ancestry that served in the U.S. Army during World War II.
Japanese American History from Immigration to Present
In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the NVN launched a social media series walking you through the history of Japanese Americans from immigration to present.
Join the #IAmAmerican Campaign
To support #StopAsianHate, NVN invites you to share your #IAmAmerican story today. What does being an American mean to you?
NVN High School Video Contest Winner
Watch the winning video of NVN High School Video Contest sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal, Rina Iwata from Katy, Texas.
NVN curriculum featured in Smithsonian Magazine
Read about NVN/Smithsonian APAC curriculum in Smithsonian Magazine’s What’s Missing from Classrooms When Asian American and Pacific Islander Voices Aren’t Included?
Tec 4 Takako Kusunoki
Our latest blog celebrates Women’s History Month by highlighting Tec 4 Takako Kusunoki, a veteran of the Women’s Army Corps during World War II.
NVN NextGen: Gary Uchida
View the second episode in our NVN NextGen series, featuring two students discussing Gary Uchida’s travel bag with Paul Morando, Chief of Exhibits at the National Museum of the U.S. Army.
NVN NextGen Virtual Series
We are excited to launch NVN NextGen: A conversational virtual series where the next generation of Japanese Americans learn about their WWII heritage through historical objects.
Curriculum Announcement
Our new school curriculum developed in partnership with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center is now available. Read the article shared by Teaching Tolerance in their fall 2020 magazine to educators nationwide.
Virtual Series
Veterans Day 2020 we are launching our Nisei Soldier Objects Virtual Series with the National Museum of the U.S. Army. We are seeking 9 youth family members of Japanese American WWII soldiers to join us live. Click to apply!
Social Media
Gary Uchida’s travel bag documenting his experience with the 100th Infantry Battalion is featured in the National Museum of the United States Army Curator’s Corner series.
Social Media
Read our Q&A interview with Floyd Mori who shares his perspective of Freedom in the context of the Japanese American WWII experience.
Social Media
Late Senator Daniel K. Inouye recounts his experience as a Japanese American at a barbershop after WWII.
Enoch Kanaya, 442nd RCT, talks about the Gothic Line. Collaboration with Pritzker Military Museum and Library.
The NVN recognizes its 10th Anniversary.
A docushort on the American story of the Japanese American WWII soldiers and the Congressional Gold Medal.

Our Impact

Inspired and engaged more than
18 million people
across the country & around the world

Our Work

“I Am An American” Traveling Exhibition

“I Am An American: the Nisei Soldier Experience,” a 11-city traveling exhibition, will highlight the service of the Nisei Soldiers in order to demonstrate that they were loyal patriotic Americans, while they simultaneously fought a war against prejudice at home.

The Nisei Soldier Experience at National Museum of the U.S. Army

Visit the Nisei Soldier Experience, a special exhibit, at the National Museum of the U.S. Army in Ft. Belvoir, VA. Open until September 2025.

Teacher Training

Download our newly created elementary and middle school curriculum, created in partnership with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

Nisei Soldier Congressional Gold Medal Online Exhibition

Visit the online exhibition created in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution, honoring the life stories of 12 different soldiers who served during World War II.

NextGen Videos

In honor of Veterans Day, join Olympic Gold Medalist Kristi Yamaguchi & Family as they discover their Family Legacy. Watch our NextGen video series when students learn about the Japanese American WWII history through objects with Chief Curator of the National Museum of the U.S. Army

White House Visits

Japanese American US Army veterans of the 100th, 442nd and MIS visit the White House to be recognized for service to the United States in World War II.

They Were All American

American Soldiers of Japanese Ancestry delivered a powerful lesson in citizenship during World War II. Their values – loyalty, courage, patriotism – are timeless statements about being American. Rising above fear and prejudice, they wrote an unrivaled battle history that remains legendary, even today. It’s an American story for the ages.

– General Eric K. Shinseki, U.S. Army (Retired)
Incarcerated after Pearl Harbor, they fought bravely in World War II.

After Pearl Harbor, anti-Japanese hysteria in America reached a fever pitch. Executive order 9066 created military zones in Hawaii and on the West Coast. People of Japanese ancestry were rounded up and herded into camps. They lost homes, businesses and personal belongings. Conditions in the camps were abysmal. Nevertheless, thousands of young men volunteered to fight for America.

66 years later, Congress recognized them with a Congressional Gold Medal.

They joined the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and the Military Intelligence Service. These units played crucial roles in European combat and decoding Japanese communications. They proved that, in America, shared values, not ancestry, determine allegiances. More than six decades later, Congress recognized their achievements with a Congressional Gold Medal. This is their story.

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