#AAPIHeritageMonth, AFA-CWA features Wendy Kaihara

AFA is proud to celebrate #AAPIHeritageMonth! Today, we’re highlighting Wendy, LEC Secretary at Horizon AFA Council 16.

“I flew for Pan Am in 1989 until the end and I joined Horizon Air in 1999 and just started my 25th year. My passion for union work began when I started with Horizon Air and joined the EAP/Professional Standards committee and continue union work today as Local 16 Secretary.

I am proud of my heritage. I am a 4th generation Japanese American. My father was interned during WWII with his entire family including my Grandparents and Great Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles. My father was 7 when he entered camp and was 12 when he left. The U.S. Internment of Japanese families separated families. It’s hard to grasp the magnitude of what was done to my family in the U.S. – they were all U.S. citizens.

I did not embrace my heritage until I was in my late 20s I was raised in a home where we did not openly talk about our heritage outside, sometimes people would ask me “what I was” and it was uncomfortable. Now I realize that the internment of Japanese Americans and World War II is not taught in history classes and a good percentage of Americans I can safely say don’t know about what President Roosevelt did.

I share my knowledge of what happened to my father and the 120,000 Japanese Americans that were wrongly interned. As an AAPI, I have dedicated myself to helping all Asian communities or businesses as I own my own business and I help donate time and resources to underprivileged organizations.”