“Commitment and service are the ropes that continue to bind every facet of his life.”
He was conceived and born in a concentration camp during WWII. His parents were Japanese Americans and had everything they owned taken away from them as they were put in the camp. His grandfather spoke English and Japanese and taught martial arts. Due to these attributes, our government thought his grandfather was a spy so he was taken away for extensive questioning. Alan's mother contracted Tuberculosis in the camp. His family was released from the internment camp when he was 6 months old; his mother was not there for him for the first 9 years of his life due to her illness. Since our government took everything away from them, they didn't have anywhere to go when they were released, so a Japanese church in Vista, CA took them in and let them live in the church storage area. Alan remembers going to the barber with his dad and nobody would cut their hair and people called him names such as "Jap" and told him to go "home". As a youth, Alan joined the Boy Scouts; he eventually became an Eagle Scout where he learned survival skills. He grew up, got married and 2 weeks after getting married, he was drafted. He was drafted into the US Army during the Vietnam war and fought for 14 months. He served in the war in the 101st Airborne Division (Screaming Eagles). Friends he made were killed. After the war, he came back to the US, was spat on and called a "baby killer". Alan went to college and earned a Masters Degree in Public Health. He worked as a Health Educator in Public Health/Managed Care for 35 years. Alan volunteers his time with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project interviewing veterans from all branches and all wars where he video tapes their stories for archives in Washington DC. Alan Hayashi was born an American citizen in Poston, AZ Internment Camp in 1945. He faced extreme adversity, racism, and grew up to fight for the freedoms of our country. He has spent years educating those in need, and recording veterans' stories for future generations. Alan is currently active with veterans groups while helping my mom survive breast cancer a second time. Through his strong spirit and survival stories, he has also been influential in the lives of his two grandsons who are currently serving in the US Air Force and US Army. He is not only a true survivor, he is an inspiration.