Garry Hashimoto was born in Lower Paia, Maui, Hawaii, on October 17, 1931. He was the son of Japanese immigrants; his father was from Hiroshima, and his mother was from Fukushima. His father was a cabinet maker, and his mother was a homemaker. He came from a large family, having three brothers and three sisters. He graduated from Maui High School in 1949. He reports not learning about Korea in high school because he did not even know where it was before fighting there. After high school, he worked at a pineapple cannery before enlisting in the United States Army in February 1950 alongside a friend and was sent to Fort Ord, California, for boot camp. War broke out in Korea, and in 1950, he and his friend were both shipped out to Korea, via Japan. He arrived in Busan and fought in Company B, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, in the 7th Infantry Division. He left Korea around Christmas 1951.
Experiences on the Front Lines
Garry Hashimoto talks about his experiences on the front lines. He was originally a rifleman, but because he was more experienced than most after only three months out there, he became a forward observer. He shares how he had to stay one hundred feet ahead of his platoon and keep a lookout for ambushes. He reflects on the dangers he faced, including facing machine gun fire. He remembers being bombarded with artillery shells all the time, especially from the Chinese.
Chinese Soldiers and PTSD
Garry Hashimoto discusses his perspectives on Chinese soldiers. He remembers Chinese soldiers being crazy. He shares how they were often high, and that they would find drugs on them. He believes they took drugs so they would stay awake and fight all the time. He comments on his sleep schedule and shares that he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He reflects on how one of his replacements was killed soon after taking his post.
Life on the Front Lines
Garry Hashimoto remembers what it was like to be on the front lines in Korea. He recalls having to spend at least thirty days on the front lines, never having a shower or brushing his teeth. He remembers having to wear the same uniform and socks the entire time. He recalls how even if his boots were filled with water, he could not take them off until he made it to a safe place. He remembers his socks smelled so bad and how he ended up suffering from trench foot. He recounts how the allied forces would wear fluorescents so the airplanes knew where to drop food. He shares how they had c-rations to eat and remembers the ham or pork and beans being the best. He explains that he never went hungry and had plenty of cigarettes. He describes his bed being a foxhole, and he remembers it was very cold.