June 7's Fact of the Week: Victory Varsity Volunteers

Much unbeknownst to many people, before the decorated 442nd Regimental Combat Team was established in World War II, second-generation Japanese Americans or Nisei in Hawai’i founded the Varsity Victory Volunteers (VVV). After Pearl Harbor, many Nisei took up arms and enlisted with the Hawai’i Territorial Guard, but faced considerable racial prejudice and exclusion that barred them from continuing their military service. In an effort to demonstrate their loyalty to the United States, defend what they thought was their home, and distinguish themselves as trustworthy and patriotic American citizens that wanted to help with the war efforts at all costs, the Nisei formed the VVV that illuminated their usefulness through extensive community service and labor. From their show of dedication, eleven months later they would opt to disband the VVV and be allowed to participate in military service.