Heck Recognizes Denied Filipino Veterans

Jul 26, 2012 Issues: Veterans

WASHINGTON - In recognition of the 71st anniversary of Filipino soldiers being inducted into the U.S. Army to help counter the Japanese threat in the Pacific, Congressman Joe Heck (NV- 03) spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives to recognize the contributions of the denied Filipino veterans including “The Mighty Five” who reside in Las Vegas, Nevada.

To see a video of Congressman Heck's remarks, click the image below.

"Many more will pass without ever obtaining the recognition they deserve if this body does not act to remove the barriers preventing these veterans from receiving the benefits they have earned. Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to join me in fighting to ensure these honorable WWII veterans are appropriately recognized."

Rep. Heck's remarks, as prepared for delivery, are pasted below.

Mr. Speaker, 71 years ago today, President Roosevelt inducted over 40,000 Filipino troops into the United States Army to counter the Japanese threat.

Following the Occupation of the Philippines, thousands more Filipinos would join the resistance as recognized guerrilla forces working in cooperation with the US Army.

However, due to the Rescissions Act of 1946, the service and sacrifice of these brave Filipino veterans would go unrecognized by the US Government for the next 63 years.

Congress finally acknowledged the dedicated service of these veterans when it established the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Fund, in 2009.

Although meager in comparison to the benefits these veterans earned, this compensation fund provided the recognition these veterans deserved.

Yet today, bureaucratic roadblocks continue to prevent nearly 4000 of these aging WWII veterans from collecting the benefits they deserve.

Five of these gentlemen, pictured here, reside in my district. They range in age from 83 to 100 years old. Regrettably, 2 others recently passed away.

Many more will pass without ever obtaining the recognition they deserve if this body does not act to remove the barriers preventing these veterans from receiving the benefits they have earned.

Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to join me in fighting to ensure these honorable WWII veterans are appropriately recognized.

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