Ehren Watada Interview Segment 1

Origins of name, born in Honolulu, Hawaii (ddr-densho-1000-200-1) - 00:02:34
Parents' family backgrounds (ddr-densho-1000-200-2) - 00:06:30
Growing up in Honolulu, Hawaii (ddr-densho-1000-200-3) - 00:02:39
Involvement in the Boy Scouts (ddr-densho-1000-200-4) - 00:04:13
Memories of childhood, attending school (ddr-densho-1000-200-5) - 00:02:33
First hearing about the World War II incarceration in high school (ddr-densho-1000-200-6) - 00:03:14
Attending college on the mainland (ddr-densho-1000-200-7) - 00:03:16
Remembering influential teachers (ddr-densho-1000-200-8) - 00:05:30
Hearing about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (ddr-densho-1000-200-9) - 00:03:32
Deciding to join the military: "I always had this desire to serve" (ddr-densho-1000-200-10) - 00:06:15
Telling parents about decision to join the military (ddr-densho-1000-200-11) - 00:02:44
Graduating from college (ddr-densho-1000-200-12) - 00:02:11
Going through basic training (ddr-densho-1000-200-13) - 00:02:52
Officer Candidate School, enduring hazing as a weed-out process (ddr-densho-1000-200-14) - 00:05:11
Graduating from Officer Candidate School a changed person: "you're on edge all the time" (ddr-densho-1000-200-15) - 00:02:36
Completing field artillery training and doing a tour of duty in Korea (ddr-densho-1000-200-16) - 00:03:22
Experiences as a brand-new lieutenant in Korea (ddr-densho-1000-200-17) - 00:03:36
Plans to make military a career (ddr-densho-1000-200-18) - 00:03:26
Reading about U.S. military's involvement in Iraq: "It was very shocking" (ddr-densho-1000-200-19) - 00:05:30
Beginning to question the government's role in Iraq, unable to talk to anyone about it (ddr-densho-1000-200-20) - 00:04:27
Reaching a turning point, feeling that "we had been betrayed" (ddr-densho-1000-200-21) - 00:10:08
Talking with unit chaplain who was sympathetic (ddr-densho-1000-200-22) - 00:02:36
Deciding to go public with story (ddr-densho-1000-200-23) - 00:02:44
Encountering hostility from others in the military because of stance (ddr-densho-1000-200-24) - 00:06:16
Thoughts on a volunteer army versus a draft army (ddr-densho-1000-200-25) - 00:03:57
Mixed response from the Japanese American community (ddr-densho-1000-200-26) - 00:02:30
Hopes for impending court-martial trial (ddr-densho-1000-200-27) - 00:05:10
Advice for those considering joining the military (ddr-densho-1000-200-28) - 00:08:20
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ddr-densho-1000-200-1 (Legacy UID: denshovh-wehren-01-0001)

Origins of name, born in Honolulu, Hawaii

00:02:34 — Segment 1 of 28

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December 22, 2006

Densho Visual History Collection


Courtesy of Densho


Ehren Watada

Ehren Watada Interview

01:57:52 — 28 segments

December 22, 2006

Seattle, Washington

Male of Japanese and Chinese American descent. Born 1978 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Graduated from Hawaii Pacific University in 2003, and enlisted in the U.S. Army. Received his officer's commission, and served in Korea in 2004 and 2005. While stationed in Fort Lewis, Washington, in 2006, asked for permission to resign his commission based on his understanding that the war in Iraq was illegal, and refused to deploy to Iraq with his unit. Was court-martialed by the Army, and his first court-martial trial in February 2007 ended in a mistrial. A second trial was scheduled but stayed in October 2007. A judge ruled in 2008 that Watada could not be retried on three of the five counts against him. The Army appealed, but the case was dismissed on May 6, 2009.

Tom Ikeda, interviewer; Don Sellers, videographer


Courtesy of Densho