Captured war diary from Tinian returned to family in Japan

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Captured war diary from Tinian returned to family in Japan

I'm a big fan of these types of stories, as noted by the fact I write about them fairly often.  My favorite was one I did a while back on a Bible that was returned to a family from the battle of Attu, in the Aleutians.   As luck would have it, in two weeks I am headed to the Aleutians to do a different story, and there is a museum about Attu where I am going.

Anyway, this story is similiar, and talks about retired teacher Judy Reitz's successful effort to find the family of a diary her dad found on Tinian.

The news: a Japanese soldier's diary her father brought back from World War II had made its way back to the soldier's family in Japan.

Indeed, the tiny black book was in the possession of Toshie Nagasawa, the soldier's grandson, who lives in Fukushima Prefecture.

The news was the fulfillment of hopes Reitz had when, in spring of 2018, she sent the diary to the Obon Society in Oregon.

A nonprofit founded by Rex and Keiko Ziak, the society seeks to heal wartime wounds by returning Japanese flags and other materials to families in Japan.

"I had high hopes it would make its way back to his family," said Reitz, 76, who taught in the Daniel Boone School District for 32 years. "I felt his name might be somewhere in the writing."

Now Tinian is mostly famous for what happened AFTER the battle was completed, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that took off from the island.

But regardless of the significance after the fact, the Battle of Tinian was an absolute slogfest:

I found a documentary made by the Marine Corps about Tinian that I will share below, because to me it is fascinating.  Roughly half the video is essentially the Operations Order for the units involved.  Having done combat missions myself in Afghanistan, it is interesting to me how these orders were essentially written the exact same way back then.  

But before I leave the story of Judy Reitz and the diary, I would be remiss if I didn't include the link to the OBON SOCIETY.   To see how important what they do is, just look at the raw emotion on this gentleman's face when he gets a flag returned:

And now, the battle of Tinian:

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.