Let’s Have a Club 100

Author: unknown
Puka Puka Parades, April 1946, vol. 1 no. 1

Article covering how funds for Club 100 started at Camp McCoy and how Club 100 will be positive to the community.

In 1942, while the 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate) was stationed in Camp McCoy, Wisconsin, the members of the battalion decided to start saving enough money out of their pay to prepare for the day when they could go home to Hawaii and have a clubhouse with a bar, a bowling alley, dancing pavillion[sic], ping pong tables, a cozy room for bull sessions, and a nice soft bed to lie on after a hard night. As the years rolled by and the battalion moved farther and farther away from Hawaii, the clubhouse became more than a dream. We planned it and talked about it and saved for it.

Most of us are back now, each having contributed approximately $60 up to this date. A few of our dreams have been realized – we have our club incorporated under the territorial laws; there are sufficient funds in the bank for a start; we have a room full of trophies and reminders of battlefields; and we have one pool table. Other additions will be made as time goes on. Our membership is made up of Americans who fought as part of the 100th Infantry Battalion up to V-E Day, irrespective of race or religion. Everything seems to be moving too leisurely for some of us, but at least we are heading in the right direction.

And, just as we begin to lay the foundation for a common meeting ground of all the boys in the 100th we hear a rumbling from afar which is gaining momentum, and we dislike its sinister sound. We hear a cry to abolish the Club 100. We hear that the money we have in the Hawaiian Trust is not our own. We feel a restlessness and distrust growing amongst the veterans and the community.

Again, the members of the 100th Infantry Battalion, but now as members of the Club 100, will have to lead the way and show our good friends in the community that we aim to keep and cherish our memories of buddies we left in Italy and France. We fought so we can come home and live as free Americans, to share our hopes and despairs, our sorrows and happiness with all mankind. We are not going to band together and demand our rights and privileges as Japanese–as a racial group. If there is a necessity to demand our rights as veterans, we will join with a powerful and responsible veterans’ organization and fight as veterans, but not as Japanese-Americans. We ask the community to let us have our own clubhouse where we can perpetuate the memory of those who stayed back on foreign soil, where we can share again the experiences during combat when the ideals for which we fought seemed so important.

We should like to express our sincerest gratitude to the community for the money that was sent to us to make our Christmasses[sic] a bit more merry. But, again, our dreams of a permanent club urged us to save, and we sent the money back to the Hawaiian Trust for safekeeping. Other outfits received proportionate shares of the community contributions, but they spent it on immediate needs. Are we not justified in saving our money so we can enjoy our Christmasses [sic] in years to come?