Reid pic 1

Capt. Reid K. Nishizuka

  • Branch: Air Force
  • Hometown/City: Kailua, HI
  • Date of Birth:
  • Date of Death: 04-27-2013
  • Conflict: Operation Enduring Freedom
  • Unit: 427th Reconnaissance Squadron
  • Port/Base: Beale Air Force Base

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  • How do you begin a tribute to honor a perfect person and a perfect son? I may be biased but I find very few people with the following qualities. Smart, personable, kind, compassionate, talented, handsome, generous, loyal, strong, and responsible.

    As a proud father, I found out through other memorial tributes, I was not alone in feeling that Reid possessed all of the mentioned qualities in a perfect person. I know that no one is truely "perfect," but Reid surely comes darn close. Only his father in heaven can claim that "perfect" title. Everyone that had the privilege of knowing him had their own lives enriched because of his positive outlook in life.

    My favorite memory of his brilliant mind at age five was when I asked Reid what he wanted to be when he grew up. Without skipping a beat, he replied, “I want to be a heart surgeon.” When I asked him why a heart surgeon? His answer was, “If I save their lives, I am a hero; if I don’t save their life, they would have died anyway.” I have never heard a five year old having so much insight into the positive and negative at that age.

    In college, Reid had so much pride in Notre Dame Football that he once told me that he would love to be the mascot on the field because he had the right size to be the Fighting Irish Leprechaun.

    As a grown up, I never met anyone more passionate about food! Any description of food or place to eat would excite Reid all the time. He made everything sound so good that you had to try it. That was the reason I had to sample a “beet burger!”

    In Reid’s short 30 years in his life, he accomplished a lifetime of achievements that most people would love to achieve, including his Dad. His life has touched so many friends and family that his memory will live in our hearts forever and will always be our hero.

    Ricky Nishizuka, Father
  • There were so many memories that flooded my mind when I first got the news of Reid's passing. The many sleepovers we had at the Kailua house, staying up late playing wrestling, war, building shelters, playing board games, playing video games, etc. Spending time with Reid and his brothers was one of the things I looked forward to the most when visiting Oahu. Those boys have a "funny gene" (probably from their father!) that could make me laugh no matter what was going on in my life.

    Reid was such a special person...a true hero in every area of his life. When he passed away, reading all the countless messages on his Facebook page made me see just how many people he touched in his short 30 years. His positive attitude, smile, and contagious laugh brightened everyone's life around him. It was inspiring to see the other sides of my cousin that I never got to see, but wish I did before he left us.

    Since his passing, I've tried hard to "Live Like Reid" try my best to maintain a positive attitude, be grateful for the blessings in my life, see the lighter side of things, work hard, smile more, laugh more. Thank you Reid for being YOU!! I can't tell you just how much you are missed by everyone. Thinking of you everyday =)

    Lisa Yamagata, First Cousin