Ed Takesuye watched
CNN broadcasts in March
as the liberation of Iraq unfolded. Not from the comfort of his living room, but from the submarine he commanded, the USS San Juan, far below the surface of the Red Sea.
For his efforts in the early phases of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Navy captain and 1979 graduate of Scottsdale’s Coronado High School was awarded the prestigious Bronze Star Medal.
His parents, Jack and Betty Takesuye still live in Scottsdale.
The medal is awarded for meritorious achievement in connection with armed conflict. Naval public affairs officer Andrew Scharnhorst said Takesuye received the honor Monday. He was the only sailor on board to receive the honor.
"At the beginning of the campaign to liberate Iraq, we shot missiles from the submarine to clear the path for the other branches to come in," Takesuye said from New London, Conn., where he is now stationed.
Takesuye said he felt safe during the military campaign. His security may have come courtesy of his wife of four years, Kinuyo.
"All the time I was praying and hoping my husband and his crew would come home safe," she wrote in an e-mail reply to questions from the Tribune.
Takesuye was already deployed in the Mediterranean when President Bush ordered a troop build-up in the Middle East.
Takesuye said he saw daylight for one day during a six-month period, when his submarine resurfaced to cross the Suez Canal.
Takesuye will be sent out to sea again, but not for about 18 months. "We get to stay home for awhile
after being deployed for six months because it’s so hard on family life," he said.
While he’s stateside, Takesuye won’t be sitting back and relaxing, however.
"I’m a little more experienced now so I am training new commanders and then we’ll go back to sea."
Not before some rest and relaxation if Kinuyo Takesuye has any say.
"While he’s home, I am hoping he has time for a romantic vacation to Niagara Falls," she said.