SC Parade of Champions: Meet Honored Guest Veteran Ken Kitajima

91 year old Veteran of the Korean War: Thank you for your Service!

Our veterans have lived through wars and conflicts, lost comrades, saved lives, and reinvented themselves, overcoming extreme obstacles and tragedies--so many amazing heroic stories. Our Parade of Champions was first established in 1945 to welcome home our WWII heroes, and many veterans and community heroes ever since. I was fortunate to recently connect with Deana Kitajima, his daughter-in-law, and she shared the incredible story of his humble bravery. Ken was born during a century that saw massive change around the world. In 1942, President Roosevelt passed order 9066, a policy that forced the removal of resident "enemy aliens" located in the Western US in areas referred to as Military areas, to be placed in Japanese Interment Camps. As a child of 12 growing up in Campbell, California, his family was forced to sell their land and farming equipment in 2 weeks, then relocated to an internment camp in Heart Mountain, Colorado. Their days were spent living in crowded one room conditions, in poorly structured facilities--lacking even a proper hospital. After the war ended the family was allowed to move back to California where they stoically began to rebuild their lives.

In 1950, Ken joined the US Air Force as a Surgical Nurse, and served during the Korean Conflict until 1954. At the end of the war he went on to study to become a science educator. Ken retired from the San Jose Unified School District. Despite what happened to the Kitajima family and their internment, Ken is still a great Patriot. To this day, Ken says no county is perfect and no government is perfect, and he still believes that United States of America is still the best country in the world. Watch his story and courageous journey to Heart Mountain here:

On October 9, 2021 at 11 am, Ken Kitajima will be one of our honored guests in the Santa Clara Parade of Champions. Troop 1699 and Pack 1699 of the Fateh foundation will have a flag ceremony at 10am to Honor Ken and our Veterans as part of our preparade ceremonies. Join us in celebrating our 2021 Community and Frontline Heroes. Learn more about our Parade Tradition at

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