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Friday
Jun102011

GI Photo Jam & MOH Sakato

It was a Friday. My location consisted of military uniforms and Humvees. Not your usual seminar venue, I had arrived at the Los Angeles Recruiting Battalion for an impromptu GI Photo Jam. It was seeded by an idea by one of my friends SFC Jason R. Montano, Battalion Master Trainer, who hoped to learn more about photography. In a matter of days our session evolved into the concept of providing a free seminar session for troops at the Battalion. After a morning of jamming on the Three Scoops of Photography, our day swiftly morphed into the ULTIMATE workshop, covering the Battalion event of WWII Medal of Honor recipient, George Sakato. We shifted through the audience of the 200 soldiers as they listened to one of the greatest military events of our time. Sakato revisited the emotional tale of his fellow soldier dying in his arms in the fields of France, the ensuing battle, and his feat of eliminating twelve Germans with his personal capture of thirty-seven others, saving the lives of the rest of his unit. The Medal of Honor was bestowed upon him fifty years later by President Clinton.
After Sakato spoke to the troops, we followed him to a private visit in the LTC's office where we all fell in love with him. This dynamic man of history released his wit, exclaiming his greatest lesson from his incident, "I learned to keep my head down". His daughter beamed from the corner of the room, lovingly protective and embracing pride in every moment of adoration placed on her father. She shared the story of how he joined the military so he would be respected as an American during such a volatile period in history as a young man of Japanese heritage.
I will hold that Friday dear, for the opportunity to have had the photo jam with my friends in uniform, and for the brief time we shared with a hero.
As my friend SFC Montano (otherwise known as my Battle Buddy) transfers to Fort Knox, Kentucky, my heart saddens with the reality our servicemen and women endure in their ever-changing locations of their own. There will be more GI Photo Jams to come, all because of a friend, an idea, and a Friday we will hold in our hearts forever.[gallery]

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Reader Comments (1)

Hi sir,
Thought you may be interested in what Macaela had to say about her visit at the BN on 3 June.

June 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLTC Blankenship

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