In 48 years, the vivid memories of being interned behind barbed wire during World War II haven't faded for Tsutomu "Tube" Horiuchi.

But the recent official apology by the U.S. government has helped ease the bitter feelings the Salt Lake resident has harbored."The apology to me is worth much more than the money," said Horiuchi, a retired member of the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Department. "It has always hurt that people thought we were subversive when in reality that was not true."

Horiuchi was 16 when his family was evacuated from their home in Seattle, Wash., and interned in the Minadoka camp, near Twin Falls, Idaho.

"When we were first evacuated, my parents were concerned. They didn't know where we were going, how long we would be gone. They worried about medical facilities.

"But to me - a 16-year-old - it was kind of like a new adventure."

When the order came to leave, the Horiuchis took only two suitcases each. Other belongings were left in Seattle.

"We got there in the summer; there was dust a foot deep. All we could see was sagebrush until we got to the camp. In the wintertime it got terribly cold. In the spring, when snow melted, the camp turned to mud.

For two years, Horiuchi shared a small barrack with his parents and two siblings. Theirs was one of about 45 barracks in a block.

He left the camp in 1944 to join the 442nd Infantry Regiment in Europe - one of the most highly decorated regiments in the war.

Horiuchi said he didn't discuss the internment with his children. It came up only when his eldest son read about the evacuation of Japanese Americans in a history book. Two or three lines covered the topic.

"I told him I hadn't mentioned it because I didn't want him to be as bitter as I had been."