Veteran's Day

In honor of Veteran’s Day today in the States, I thought I’d share some pictures of some of my loved ones who have served.

First up my maternal grandpa (Gung Gung) or “M.C.” who I believe was in the U.S. Airforce. Unfortunately I don’t know a whole lot of his history there but I did find an image of their squadron - the 40th Bomb Wing in Erlangen, Germany in 1946 so he must have been stationed there for a while. After his service he went on to become the Honolulu Fire Department’s, Fire Chief.

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Next is my paternal grandpa, “Ace” who I wrote about previously here. He was in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in the 100th Infantry Battalion. At the time, many Japanese Americans were distrusted due to Japan’s involvement in the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Even though these Japanese Americans had lived and worked in the United States for many years, their loyalty came into question when fighting alongside their other American comrades in the throes of World War 2. His unit went on to become the most decorated in U.S. history for the size of the unit and the length of time served. A monument was erected in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles later on to honor those who served in that battalion.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of my grandpa in service but at least of the Go For Broke monument which bears his and the 16,130 Nisei soldiers’ names that served in this historically groundbreaking unit.

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Last and most certainly not least, my dad, John. He served during the Vietnam war as a Private, from December 8, 1968 - December 8, 1969. This was the time that men were being drafted into the military and so my dad decided to volunteer instead, and that way he could at least have more of a choice in where in the division he got to serve in. He got data processing, I.T. - back in those days where the computers were as large as an entire room.

Here he is visiting an orphanage during his stay in Vietnam. Apparently he was almost ready to adopt that adorable little girl.

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Travel Diary: Los Angeles Day 2 (Part 1) - Venice Canals

January 25, 2016 (continued): After many of the heavy, sleep-inducing, carb-laden meals I’ve had throughout the trip I was craving something lighter and cleaner for breakfast. My plan was to explore the Venice/Santa Monica area so I googled juice places near there. I chose Juice Served Here as they had a few food options as well. There were only a couple of parking spaces out front, the building itself looked like a converted garage with a cool, glass roller door. The interiors were clean, modern with a slight industrial feel.

For breakfast, I chose the juice flight which was a selection of their juices in shot sized glasses that were supposed to be a re-invigoration for the day. There was an order to which one you drank first, including starting with Green Easy (Cucumber, Red Apple, Kale, Spinach, Lemon, Romaine, Green Pepper), to things like Charcoal Lemonade (Filtered Water, Sugar Cane Juice, Lemon, Montmorillonite Clay, Activated Charcoal), to finishing it off with the “dessert”, Cream Party (Coconut Water, Coconut Cream). As someone who regularly made their own smoothies and tried similar juices before, I didn’t mind the veggies in my juice thing as I know some people get weirded out and think it’s gross, but honestly the fruit flavors usually balance out any “green” tastes. I thought each juice had their own unique flavor profile, and the flight was a good way to test out which juices you might prefer over others.

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I also ordered the vegan grilled cheese to round out my meal. Usually, I’m pretty wary of vegan imitation products as it’s never quite the same but thought I’d give it a go. As a connoisseur of grilled cheese and lover of dairy (but trying to cut back on it), this was one of the best grilled cheese I’ve had in my life. It was packed with flavor, with some red peppery bits in it, and a nice amount of creaminess to it. The melty, stringy cheese part was a little lacking because, well it’s not cheese but I didn’t really miss it. Since I am so late to writing this post, I don’t think they have it on their menu anymore unfortunately!

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My first sightseeing stop of the day was at the Venice Canals. I’d wanted to visit as it was the scene to several movies, plus a few YouTubers I watched had also been there, the location looked interesting and artistic so it was definitely on my list. Since I had started my day off early the place was almost empty apart from the residents, so I had it all to myself. The interwoven walk amongst the canals was one of the most peaceful, serene, and picturesque places I’ve ever been. I can see why one resident had to post a sign saying that they’d never sell so stop asking!

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I loved crossing the bridges and stopping to take in the scenery of the canals, each one was slightly different and unique. Funny story, there was a young man who went on one of the bridges and sat down with his puppet and started talking to himself, at first you’d think quite odd but then this is LA so I figured he was rehearsing for some project. Not sure why he had to sit on a bridge to do it but whatever helps the process I guess!

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Each house was decorated in their own unique way, which for my curious/detail oriented mind was like heaven just stopping at each home to see what they had done. The architecture was also unique in itself with some resembling quaint cottages, to clean and modern, to artsy/hippie decor, to some that looked like what I’d imagine was out of a Hansel and Gretel storybook.

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There were also several animal spottings like the ducks gliding down the canals, or in someone’s backyard, to doggo’s chilling on the porch, to crows and squirrels getting their feed on.

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In conclusion, this was one of my favorite places I had visited, as it touched on a number of my top things, arts, architecture, animals, nature, water, the peace and tranquility (especially for my introverted self). It was such an expansive place that I couldn’t see everything thoroughly but I knew if I was ever back I’d have to visit again.