Congressmen: House Should Vote for Filipino Vets

Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) & Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) are making the case for the House to pass a bill that would extend benefits to Filipino veterans of WWII. The Senate already passed the Veterans Benefits Enhancement Act in April.

Upon being ordered into combat by FDR, 250,000 Filipinos fought bravely against the Japanese for the U.S. Tragically, promises of benefits were rescinded following the war. Arguments then and now have held that the U.S. should not offer benefits to foreigners – even though the Phillipines had been an American commonwealth during the war. A similar debate in the UK concerns the status of the Gurkhas – Nepalese troops who served the British Army but currently do not receive a pension or have the right to live in the UK.  

For some insight on the role of Filipino fighters during WWII, check out the 2005 film “The Great Raid”. It’s the true story of the daring rescue of Americans soldiers from a Japanese PoW camp in the Philippines (also chronicled in the best selling book “Ghost Soldiers“). The film falls a bit short of being a classic, but it’s still quite enjoyable.

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