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First Sergeant Howard Cawein

Medical Detatchment, 8th Cavalry Regiment

Howard D. Cawein, a native of Hamilton, Ohio, was born on August 27, 1928, and entered the US Army at the age of 18 on July 23rd, 1946. While in high school, his enlistment record noted he worked as a tinsmith. He shipped out to Japan to join occupation forces on November 9th, 1946, arriving on November 23rd. Upon arrival to Japan, Cawein was assigned to Medical Detachment, 8th Cavalry Regiment as a Medical Noncommissioned Officer (MOS 673). Medical Noncommissioned Officers supervised personnel of medical units in an administrative or caretaking capacity. They also assisted in operating various hospital units, mess halls, latrines, and garbage pits as well as cleaning and policing medical wards. Medical Noncommissioned Officers could also requisition medical supplies, instruct junior enlisted personnel in basic first aid and medical duties, and prepare medical records and reports. While attached to the 8th Cavalry Regiment's medical detachment, Cawein served as the detachment's First Sergeant.

First Sergeant Cawein arrived in Japan on November 23rd, 1946, arriving in time for the 8th Cavalry Regiment's 80th birthday, enjoying the festivities at regimental headquarters at the former Imperial Marine Barracks in Tokyo, Japan. He also participated in the 1947 Army Day Parade held in Tokyo, marching down the boulevards to cheering crowds of American GIs, civilians, and Japanese citizens. Prior to his departure from Japan, 8th Cavalry Regiment commander Colonel Thomas D. Roberts presented him a letter of commendation, praising his work as the medical detachments First Sergeant, writing "I have never, while you were in charge, worried about anything going wrong in the medics.”

Click on a photo in this slideshow for a closer look or click on the arrows at the edges of the slideshow to look through the photos.

He departed from the land of the rising sun on May 4th, 1948, returning to the United States on May 17th. First Sergeant Cawein was discharged from the army on May 21st, 1948 at the separation center at Camp Stoneman, California, returning to Ohio shortly thereafter. Following his service, he married Marilynn Jane Baker in 1958, remaining married to her until her passing. He moved to Miami, Florida where he managed the Suddath Moving and Storage Company. Following his retirement, he remained in the Miami area, focusing on philanthropy, collecting dented canned food to donate to homeless and women's shelters. Through this, he co-founded South Florida’s first major food bank, the Daily Bread Food Bank, now known as Feeding South Florida. Sadly, he passed away at the age of 90 on July 31st, 2019. His service to his country and community will live on for generations to come. 


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