Early Release

Rejected by the Army

"Go on home..."

"Well, [Eleanor Roosevelt] came to the camp, and after that people started going out to work outside the camp. Until then, no one could go out...

I went and I was working in a grocery store [in Cleveland]...When I got my order to go into the Army, I went there for a day and they told me, 'You’re Japanese, you have Japanese blood.' I said, 'Yeah,' and they said, ‘Go on home...'

I didn’t have a job and I was too ashamed to go to the grocery store to get my job back, so I worked in the defense-a friend started working at the defense plant so he got me the job."

Editor's note: Jimmy Doi was released from Gila River Internment Camp in 1944, after First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt visited the camp, initiating a program that put internees to work on the home front. He was working at the grocery store in Cleveland, Ohio, when he was drafted. He quit the job immediately and visited an Army recruitment center at Fort Sheridan only to be rejected because he was Japanese.