The National Association of Minority Veterans of America is saddened and outraged by the shootings in Georgia that left eight people dead, including six Asian-American women. Targeted acts of hatred and violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander communities have been on the rise since the early days of the pandemic, and emanate from the worst tendencies of hatred and bigotry of the United States of America.
Hatred and bigotry against anyone because of their race or ethnicity is wrong and un-American. Asian-Americans live, work and pray in America; and they have defended America so that all Americans can live in freedom. Asian-Americans served with great honor in the European and North African campaigns during WWII. Their feats of courage, particularly in the Italian campaign, are legendary. Some additional examples of the sacrifices that Asian-Americans have made, include:
- Despite the US government interning over 120,000 Japanese Americans during WWII, 19,000 Japanese Americans stepped up to fight for their country; serving in the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service.
- Up to 20,000 Chinese-Americans fought in WWII.
- More than 260,000 Filipino and Filipino American soldiers served during World War II. Despite their service, these veterans, who were U.S nationals, were disqualified from receiving the same rights, benefits and privileges as others who served under the U.S. Armed Forces.
- The Korean War, Vietnam War and Iraq War were among some of the conflicts during which Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians have served. Others like Hmongs and Laotians fought alongside the U.S. during a “secret war” in Laos against North Vietnamese forces.
- Today, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians account for 5.6 percent of active-duty military personnel.
As an organization of veterans, we believe that all Americans – regardless of race or ethnicity, religion, or gender/sex orientation – have the right to live in dignity, peace and safety. To this end, we ask that all violence against Asian-Americans cease, immediately. We demand that all who perpetrate acts of violence against Asians be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. We hope and pray that those Americans who are full of hatred and bigotry find the courage to condemn acts of violence and to respect their fellow Americans.