My Grandfather’s Hard Work


My unassuming hero is my grandfather. He was born in 1943 inside of an internment camp in Poston, Arizona along with his two other siblings and mother and father. The Japanese Internment Camp was established during World War ll by President Franklin D. Roosevelt which forces all Asian or Asian Americans to relocate and incarcerate in concentration camps. My grandfather, his siblings, and his parents were all born in America but were forced to live inside of the camps for three years. Over 1,800 Asians died of diseases during the camps and over 110,000 Japanese Americans were forced to stay in the camps. His parents were forced to leave on a bus that took them to a train which took them to the camp. Whatever they could fit in a suitcase was what they could take to the camp. The walls of each small building in the camp was made up of strong thin paper which didn’t suit a wet climate so guess what happened when it rained. Whenever you had to go to the bathroom you must walk 500 feet to an outhouse in the middle of the night which hadn’t been clean for a very long and like I said before over 1,000 people died of diseases during the camp so imagine going to the same bathrooms with thousands of people who have deadly diseases. 

My great grandfather and his wife struggled to make ends meet after the camp because they had lost everything they had achieved and couldn’t own any land so were forced to live on a ranch. My Grandfather never really had a good connection with his father because his father was forced to work 24/7 in order to make money and support his family. My Grandfather was about ten when he had to start helping his father out at work, he learned how to cut meat and eventually became a butcher in his life at one point, he had an early working experience which would only benefit him, but most of all he got to spend time with his father something he always enjoyed doing. He did many vegetable and fruit farming and picking during the summers, not only to make money but also to have fun with friends that also did it with him.  My grandfather’s mother worked as a house cleaner for a nice white woman and although during these times it was hard because both parents were very busy, my grandfather and his siblings still found a way to have fun during their childhood. 

Now we are moving on to his adulthood, my grandfather mastered engineering at San Jose University and went to law school at Santa Barbara University but chose to not stay and complete it. After graduating, he chose to work for the city’s construction and went to other cities like Sunnyvale and Palo Alto but eventually chose to work in San Jose. He worked as this city’s manager of construction for 40 years. He met his wife in 1966 and has been married to her for  over 50 years(congratulations). When he decided to retire, his co-workers, fellow employees, and other partnering companies chose to throw a party for him in order to thank him and wish him a happy retirement. The one life lesson he learned was to treat other people with respect and appreciation and they will do the same for you. He went from being born inside of an internment camp where thousands died and not being able to live a normal childhood to becoming a loved person among everyone he came across and appreciate everybody and that is why I chose him to be my unassuming hero.