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"I, do solemnly swear...that I will bear PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 19 February 2010 00:22
"I, do solemnly swear...that I will bear true faith and allegiance...to the United States of America...that I will serve them honestly and faithfully...against all their enemies whomsoever...and I will obey the orders...of the President of the United States...And the orders of the officers appointed over me...according to the rules and Articles of War." With this pledge, approximately 250,000 Filipino men joined the U.S. Armed Forces in the months before and the days just after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. For the next several years, they would share the fate of their American counterparts on the battlefield. Accordingly, Washington promised them the same health and pension benefits as their American brothers. But on February 18, 1946, the Congress passed and President Truman signed the Rescission Act of 1946. It said that the service of Filipinos "shall not be deemed to be or to have been service in the military or national forces of the United States or any component thereof or any law of the United States conferring rights, privileges or benefits." A year ago this week, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and, subsequently, the Filipino WWII Veterans Equity Compensation Fund. While the deadline has passed to apply for the Filipino WWII Veterans Equity Compensation Fund, we can continue to help our Filipino WWII Veterans beyond this day through continuing to push for provisions that will support these veterans in their twilight years. This includes taking action to ensure that Filipino Veterans have access to the health care benefits available to other U.S. veterans, especially given their advanced age, and supporting family reunification and the allocation of funding and resources from the Department of Veterans Affairs for culturally competent and locally-based supports and services for Filipino WWII veterans. Let this anniversary serve as a celebration of the exemplary fortitude of the Filipino-American WWII veterans not only in combat to liberate the Philippines from oppression...but also their indubitable spirit in the pursuit of justice. In solidarity, The KAYA Leadership Team
 

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