In 1994, the United States Congress passed a law that created two important organizations: The Center for Minority Veterans at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the national Federal Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans. The inaugural fifteen-member Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans, charged to improve the services provided to the more than 7 million minority veterans in the country, included Chairman David E.K. Cooper, Frank Sogi and Tom Kaulukukui.
The work of the Committee led to many important changes in the policies, benefits and medical services provided to all veterans, especially minority veterans, by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Today, Brigadier General Irwin Cockett sits as a member of the Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans, and H. David Burge, Director, VAMROC, both Native Hawaiians and distinguished leaders, serve our Pacific veterans.
On August 7, 1999 the Board of Directors of the Pacific American Foundation, a national 501 c(3) organization dedicated to improving the lives of all Pacific Americans wherever they live, concurred with the Department of Veterans Affairs to conduct the first ever Roll Call of Honor in Remembrance to recognize the dedicated service and outstanding contributions of Pacific Americans – American Samoans, Chamorros, Fijians, Hawaiians, Maoris, Tahitians, Tongans, Pacific Island Americans and those veterans who call the Pacific their ‘aina – to the nation
In September 1999 two PAF Leadership Fellows of the Hiapo class, Troy A.K. Cooper, USMA ’84, and Michael Naho’opi’i, USNA ’91, volunteered to plan, coordinate and conduct the Roll Call of Honor in Remembrance at two locations, the Arlington National Cemetery and the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
In November 2000 during a discussion regarding the Roll Call of Honor, Dwayne Steele, Chairman, Grace Pacific Corporation, and a member of the PAF’s Board of Directors, volunteered to do original research in Hawaiian of the many Hawaiian newspapers that were published between 1910-1935 that could contain articles describing the service of Pacific Americans in our nation’s wars.
Today, the Pacific American Foundation is proud to host the second annual Roll Call of Honor in Remembrance Ceremony. Already research has revealed that Pacific Americans had served on the Confederate ship Shenandoah and fought at the Battle of Gettysburg.
All our veterans are special, and by honoring our Pacific veterans we salute all of America’s men and women who answered the call to duty. Their names on these scrolls will remind us forever of our nation’s debt to their sacrifices.
We wish to thank the many supporters of the Roll Call of Honor in Remembrance, many of whom are parents, spouses, children, loved ones and friends who graciously provided the names that are now printed on these scrolls which will be hung in the Pacific American Foundation’s offices at 925 Bethel Street, Honolulu, HI and 1710 Rhode Island Ave, NW, Washington, DC.
The Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC
The Center for Minority Veterans, Washington, DC
Director, Veterans Affairs Medical and Regional Office Center, Pacific
Superintendent, Arlington National Cemetery
Director, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
Hawaii’s Veterans Organizations
Director, Hawai’i Office of Veterans Affairs
Hawaii’s Reserve Components
Kaumakapili Church, Honolulu, HI
Grace Pacific Corporation, Honolulu, HI
Hana Engineering, Inc., Honolulu, HI
Hana Medical Education Technologies, LLC, Honolulu, HI
Akimeka, LLC, Honolulu, HI
Leadership Fellows, Hiapo Class
Leadership Fellows, Wa’alua Class