Our Veterans

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Lambert Wai - Army

Lambert Wai was in Los Angeles on December 7, 1941 when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Lambert had just graduated from Santa Monica Jr. College in June 1941, where he played football, and was preparing to enter UCLA in January 1942. He played football at Santa Monica JC and was hopeful to follow/join his 3 brothers (Francis, recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor), Conkling, and Robert – all of whom played outstanding football. Upon his arrival at home, he learned that he could not enlist in active duty, as an Executive Order limited the number of brothers to serve in the war to two after four brothers in another family had been killed upon a battleship. With two brothers, Francis and Robert, already in the Army, Lambert went to work on Midway for a year as a drill rigger deepening Midway’s harbor in order for submarines to enter for repairs. He was drafted into the Armed services in November 16, 1945 as a private to assist in the deployment of active duty military personnel. The deployment program slowed and Lambert was honorably discharged on February 21, 1947 as a Staff Sergeant. Lambert then went on to work for Mutual of Omaha as a salesman and retired at age 70 as General Manager of its Honolulu Division Office.

 
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Wai Ock Ong (aka Jung Doon Ock or George Jung) - Navy

Enlisting with the U.S. Navy at the age of 17 and a half in 1943, Wai Ock Ong (aka Jung Doon Ock or George Jung) became an Apprentice Seaman aboard the USS Serene from June 24, 1944 to January 26, 1946. An Admirable-class minesweeper, the USS Serene was representative of some of World War II's most significant and successful naval operations in the Pacific and performed minesweeping duties during the historic invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.  In addition, postwar minesweeping operations in the Sea of Japan, the Yellow Sea, and elsewhere. Although Wai’s main assignment entailed manning the radar, while he was on watch, a Kamikaze crashed into an adjacent U.S. ship and sunk it. Wai and his shipmates spent the night rescuing seamen and carrying on the fight along with other U.S Navy ships until dawn. For his service, Wai received the World War II Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal, and a Combat Action Ribbon. Wai was born in Hoiping, China on June 6, 1926 and lived in a two-story brick house on a rice farm. At 14, he left his mother and sister in China and traveled as a paper son on the S.S. Coolidge to Los Angeles then by train to unite with his father in Phoenix, AZ. While in Phoenix and enrolled in first grade he learned English and was given the name “George” when his teacher could not pronounce his Chinese name. After his honorable discharge as a Seaman First Class,Wai settled in Sacramento, CA where his father had moved. He was an inaugural member of the Chung Mei Post No. 8358, Veterans of Foreign Wars in 1946 and Ong Ko Met Benevolent Association of Sacramento in 1952.  In 1953, Wai married Betty and proudly bought their house from paychecks earned at the Blue Bird Restaurant and Giant Foods Market. Wai and Betty raise four children in the house, and he lived there until his last day at age 92 and a half. He later went into a partnership to buy Santa Fe Market, working every holiday and only taking one day off a week until retiring in 1988 at age 62. He loved family outings, reading the daily newspaper, following sports, watching Jeopardy, and taking care of his yard, but most of all seeing his children and three grandchildren grow up.

 
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Henry Hom- Army

Henry Hom, was born in Taishan, China, came to America with his father. They both lived in New York City. When WWII broke out, Hom was drafted into the U.S. Army on October, 1942 at Fort Jay, Governor's Island, New York. After basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey, he was sent overseas to North Africa as a Rifleman with The 188th Military Police Company. He participated in The European- African- Middle Eastern Theatre Campaigns. After he suffered a bullet wound in his right elbow during The Tunisian Campaign in April,1943, he spent over a year in a convalescent  hospital at Camp Upton, New York. He was discharged with Honor from The U. S. Army on March, 1945. For his bravery, Hom was awarded a Purple Heart and one Bronze Star. 

After the war was over, the United States Government allow the Chinese American War Veterans to return to China to bring over to this country their wives as War Brides! As a result, Kevin was born in this country as a United States Citizen! Many First Generation Chinese Born Americans in this country are here because what Hom did in the Second World War!

Furthermore, his son realize that FREEDOM IS NOT FREE ! We must never, ever forget all the men and women who served this country, especially those who paid the ultimate price with their lives, so we can live in a better and free world today.

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