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A Connecticut Yankee In Nisei King Company's Court
A Connecticut Yankee in Nisei King Company's Court
Robert H. Foote
Robert Hutchinson Foote (Bob) was part of the 11th generation of a New England family, whose original members were in the first group of Caucasian settlers in Connecticut. He grew up in the Great Depression on a dairy farm, where hard work and taking responsibility were necessary seven days a week. But there was always plenty of nourishing home grown food on the table, and love around it. His mother and dad were the first college graduates from rural Gilead. It is not surprising that they were leaders in agriculture, education and the church in Connecticut, while attending to the needs of four children and the farm. His mother wrote the legislative bill that established the centralized school system in the state. Bob went immediately into the army after graduating from college, completed Officer Candidate School and eventually joined the Nisei 442nd RCT. The book tells that story. His postwar objectives of being a dairy farmer changed after being severely wounded. Thanks to the GI bill, he could afford further education. After receiving the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, Bob rose through the ranks to full professor and a distinguished professorship at Cornell University. Through the grace of thousands of excellent students and hundreds of researchers he trained, he has received innumerable awards for teaching and research. He keeps busy sharing knowledge through mass media, and guest lecturing to civic groups and in the classroom, while keeping in touch with his remaining World War II buddies.
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This memoir is a true story of a Yankee dairy farm boy, from a little town in New England, who had the experience of his life serving with the minority Americans of Japanese ancestry, in the most highly decorated 442nd Regimental Combat Team in World War II. He had never known a Nisei before then. He found them to be caring, loving, dedicated, responsible young men, similar in character to boyhood friends on neighboring farms. It is the story of trial and triumph, sadness and joy, as this peace-loving band of dedicated men bonded together to do whatever had to be done to achieve peace. It is incredible that the 442 could even have been formed. The American Government had suppressed the Japanese immigrants, and after the Pearl Harbor attack, all mainland USA families, with their American born citizen children, were forcibly taken away from their homes and businesses and put in barbed wire camps. From these camps came many of the volunteers for the 442nd RCT. So, as you read this story, put yourself in the place of these Americans of Japanese ancestry. You will feel a surge of empathy and feeling of sympathy for those who “gave their last full measure of devotion.” Hopefully, it will give you a shot in the arm, to reflect on the strength of diversity, and to promote understanding and cooperation, for the great battle to achieve lasting world peace remains with us, the living.
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