Continuing Saga of Filipino WWII Veterans

27 Sep

Some 250,000 Filipinos took up arms against the Japanese with their American counterparts, as regular soldiers or guerrillas in resistance units. Many suffered through the 60-mile Bataan Death March in 1942 or teamed with Army Rangers to free more than 500 prisoners of war from the Cabanatuan Prison Camp.

Having been placed under United States command, the Filipino veterans expected to receive the same benefits and pensions as American soldiers. But shortly after the war ended the government granted benefits only to those veterans in a small Army group known as the “Old” Philippine Scouts.

Now, the government is moving toward fuller compensation for Filipinos like Mr. Braga, who at 81 is among the youngest surviving veterans. On Tuesday, the House by a wide margin passed a bill that would give 18,000 surviving Filipino veterans a lump sum payment. Those who are American citizens would receive $15,000, with noncitizens receiving $9,000.

Complete story at NY Times

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