(CNN) - A photo of World War II veteran Frank Tanabe casting what will likely be his final ballot in a presidential election has gone viral –and captured the hearts of thousands.
Tanabe, 93, is in the final stages of inoperable liver cancer and is currently at home receiving hospice care, surrounded by his wife and children in Honolulu.
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He has always been a true patriot, his daughters said. In 2010 he was among a group of Japanese-Americans who were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal as part of the Military Intelligence Service Unit during World War II.
Originally from the Seattle area, Tanabe enrolled at the University of Washington during World War II but was forced to drop out when he and the rest of his family were placed in internment camps for the Japanese in the U.S. From there, Tanabe volunteered for the U.S. Army, knowing that Japanese-English translators were in need. His family members remained in the camp while he served.
According to his daughters, Frank has never missed a presidential election, and wasn't about to let his illness deter him from voting this time around.
When his absentee ballot arrived on Wednesday, his daughter, Barbara, sat at his bedside and read aloud the candidates and issues.
"I helped him. He either nodded 'yes' or shook his head 'no'," Barbara said. "He didn't always vote for my candidate."
Nonetheless, she followed his directions and mailed in the completed form. He hasn't been able to speak since.
Irene, Frank's other daughter, knew that she was witnessing a rare moment and snapped a picture of the event. She first posted it on Facebook, then her 26-year-old son, Noah, lifted it and posted it on the link sharing site Reddit. From there, it went viral. Irene said news organizations in the U.S. and other countries have picked up interest in the photo and their story.
Barbara said that she has been telling her dad about all of the internet "buzz" and is sure he is "thrilled about it"
"He is very patriotic, very proud," she said, adding that her father instilled a similar sense of appreciation to his children.
"He always told us it was very important to vote, because he saw his comrades in arms fight and die for American rights," she said.
Among those, she added, was the right to vote.
One final act of patriotism should be saluted. Job well done, sir.
Great story.People could learn from his example.Glad he got the chance to vote once more.
Listen people if this brave man can manage to do his patriotic duty and vote there is no reason for any of us not to. People need to realize that this effects your life whether you vote or not. Have a say in what your future holds instead of letting a group of rich old men. Our vote is more priceless than all of their wealth combined...but only if we VOTE!
i love the story and may god bless your father and family
This man is a true hero.
You are my hero!!!
God bless Mr Tanabe,a man of strong conviction and a patriot as well..Take care of him and may his last moments be good ones with family and friends at his side.Patriots like him will be sorely missed!!Again God Bless!!
Good for you, Frank.
The right to vote is cherished!
Makes you think. God bless Frank
what a beautiful story...God bless this man and his family!
To us, you are a hero, love of your country. thank you for your service.
To God, you are a good son.
This is why men/women in uniform gladly risk their lives for this country. GOP should be ashamed of themselves for trying to suppress the vote! That is un-American and a slap in the face of our veterans and their families. Semper Fi, Mr. Tanabe!!
For any one that have decided not to vote in this election, shame on you! My heart goes out to this veteran and his family.
Now, I don't want to hear any excuses about voting being inconvenient and/or pointless. If this war hero, on his deathbed, can cast a vote, you can, too!
I think the president is the right man to lead the world and this nation of America this man has a kool head and not a warmongar freak!!!
What a nice man....true hero. People that don't vote should be ashamed of themselves....
Thank you for all that you have done for our country. I try to live up to the standards that people like you and my grandfather , a WWII fighter pilot, have lived. Your family should be very proud of you. Voting is an honor that is earned.
He fought for the right to vote, and he knew how important it was. Mister Tanabe is an example of what makes America great. God bless him.
No matter who you plan to vote for, or who he voted for, he should be an inspiration.
...and he didn't leave a hanging Chad?
I am so glad this is not the issue for this patriot but in Ohio the latest atrocity by republicans is an attempt to NOT COUNT votes of absentee or early voters in the event of their death before election day. Medina county is the battleground for this latest attempt to stifle votes.
God bless and keep you Sir.
As a soldier myself this story touches my heart. There is NO reason not to get out and vote. Make a difference!