Robert Hiraoka was born in Kauai, Hawaii, on January 7, 1930. His father was a businessman and managed to open a small market during the Great Depression and would go around to the sugar cane camps selling his wares from his truck. Upon graduating from Kauai High School in 1948, Robert enlisted in the Army because it was the easiest path to further his education. He was initially stationed in Japan but soon transferred to Korea as the war broke out. He served with the 8035 A Company, which later changed names to the UHF Communication Release Station. Having served in Korea during the first phase of the war, he saw much devastation and destruction at sites such as Puson, Incheon, Seoul, and the Yalu River. Despite all that he saw, nothing could compare to the sadness he felt at seeing the long lines of civilians trying to flee while carrying what possessions they could.
My Helmet Heats My Food
Robert Hiroaka describes what it was like to eat on the front lines. He recalls how a good C-ration was the one that had a cookie in it and they were willing to fight over it. He shares they would often heat their food in their helmets unless it was minus forty-one degrees for it was hard to heat anything at those temperatures.
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