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Wade Ishimoto is an Army veteran, a cancer survivor and a mentor.

He addressed attendees and honorees of Rare’s inaugural Under 40 Awards as a guest of honor and keynote speaker. He said that the veterans in the group, like the rest of the honorees, were “leaders, “contributors to our society,” and “compassionate about others.”


At one point in his speech, he singled out honoree Diana Kim, whose photographic series, “The Homeless Paradise,” has led her to donate medical bracelets for homeless Hawaiians.

Like Kim, Ishimoto was a native of Hawaii.

RELATED: A well-decorated vet gave an encouraging speech about those who choose to enlist

Her story caused him to remember a song from his childhood called “Manuela Boy.” He began to quote the lyrics:

No mo’ five cents, no mo’ house
You go ‘A’ala Paka hiamoe

He explained that “hiamoe” meant “go to sleep.”

“America’s in great hands,” he continued to say, “and our future’s secured when we have veterans and honorees like those we see tonight here in this room.” He thanked the room for their work and prayed for their “continued success.”

RELATED: You’ll be filled with pride when you see what this well-decorated vet did in front of a crowded room

And that wasn’t the only song he sang that night. Ishimoto led a moving verse of “America the Beautiful:”

Zuri Davis About the author:
Zuri Davis is a media writer for Rare. Follow her on Twitter @RiEleDavis.
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