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Rodney Kiaha

 

Tokumura Kensho Sensei -                                                 September 2008

 I am sorry it took so long to make and send to you this memory picture of you paying respect to Sgt. Rodney Kiaha at the Vietnam Wall.  Jeff Perkins supplied some of the pictures, my wife arranged all the images, and as you requested, I made a black frame.

 It was an honor for all of us [Carol Wamack, Jeff Perkins, my wife Phyllis, and me] to be with you on this day.

 Tokumura, while standing with you before Kiaha’s name on the wall, this is what I said:

            “Kiaha-san, our tomodashi, Tokumura Kensho, felt a deep obligation to honor you and it is a privilege for me to be here with him.  Many of Shimabuku’s students and fellow Marines helped us get to the Vietnam Wall today.  As you know, Tokumura at the age of 15 was our friend and sensei at Agena Dojo on Okinawa.  Together, we spent many happy times learning Isshinryu Karate.  I will always remember, thank, and honor you for sacrificing your life so that all Americans can live in this wonderful country.  Giving your life for country and others is the greatest act of love and duty one can perform.  Tokumura and I will always remember you in our hearts.  Thank You and Semper Fi – Jake Eckenrode.”

 Tokumura Sensei, I hope this memory picture is a proper account of your respect for Rodney Kiaha who sacrificed his life for us in Vietnam.

                                                            Your Tomodashi…..Matta ne - Jakey

Japanese Translation