A new campaign is underway in America, and if successful, will soon result in a new stamp becoming available at the United States Postal Service. The new stamp will commemorate the heroic Nisei Japanese-American soldiers that bravely fought during World War II. “They Deserve a Stamp” is campaigning to honor the Japanese-American soldiers who fought for the United States while their families were relocated to internment camps.
A key member of the group spearheading this effort is Jeff MacIntyre, who co-produced, alongside journalist David Ono, the Emmy Award-winning documentary “The Legacy of Heart Mountain”. In an interview with NBC News, McIntyre explained:
“Historically, the Japanese-American experience has never received top billing, been the headliner, got the spotlight. This feels like another slap. Their contribution to the country barely gets two paragraphs in history books. In some areas of the U.S., internment and their military service [aren’t] even taught. Like the stamp, this is a huge oversight.”
It is the campaign’s hope that with an issued stamp from the United States Postal Service will come increased awareness to the sacrifices made by these soldiers. The campaign “They Deserve a Stamp” points out that if Elvis, Batman, Harry Potter, and Garfield all have stamps, then it only makes sense to issues a stamp to the most decorated military unit in U.S. history. In the past, similar campaigns have tried to rally support for a commemorative stamp, but have proved unsuccessful. MacIntyre hopes that with his different perspective and angle of approach to the campaign, he can help the movement gain some ground. He explains,
“Since my background is in film and TV, I wanted to approach it from another angle. I want to harness the power of social media to raise awareness. By making a big splash, not only can we rally support for such a deserving cause, we can also educate people who may not know the Japanese-American story. A story which is deeply American.”
Included in the all-Japanese-American military units are the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, 100th Infantry Battalion, Military Intelligence Service, 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, 232nd Combat Engineer Company, and the 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion.