>I’ve been really interested in Filipino-American history for some time now. Here’s something that I just found. It’s a video documentary about Filipino veterans of WWII entitled “Broken Promises“.
During the height of World War II, the American government made a request to the Philippine government for troops. The Philippine government answered that request in 1941 and sent troops to join Americans in the battles raging in the Pacific.
At the end of the war in 1945, these Philippine troops were promised to be treated and be given the same benefits and honors as US veterans, .
This didn’t become true because in 1946, the US Congress passed the recession Act, rescinding the benefits that were promised to these Filipino veterans. They would not be eligible to qualify for citizenship, medical benefits and full access to veterans medical facilities, burial benefits, and compensation.
Today, members of Congress are supporting a bill entitled H. R. 302 – Filipino Veterans Equity Act of 2005 – “To amend title 38, United States Code, to deem certain service in the organized military forces of the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines and the Philippine Scouts to have been active service for purposes of benefits under programs administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.”
This bill would allow full health benefits for the 25,000 Filipino veterans in the US and in the Philippines. These veterans are currently in their 80’s and 90’s, frail, and weak, but continue to fight for equity and to have America hold true to the promise made to them over 60 years ago.
“If we fail, we ask the youth to fight for us. To take up the fight for us that they persevere; to fight for and advocate for equity,” said a veteran filmed in the documentary.