Filipino and Filipino American World War II veterans are expected to receive the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest reported civilian honor passed out by the United States Congress.
According to the Department of Education:
In 1941, more than 250,000 Filipino soldiers responded to President Roosevelt’s call-to-arms and later fought under the American flag during World War II. Many made the ultimate sacrifice as both soldiers in the U.S. Army Forces in the Far East and as guerilla fighters during the Imperial Japanese occupation of the Philippines. Later, many of these brave individuals became proud United States citizens. For over 60 years, Filipino veterans and community advocates have fought to obtain compensation for those who served with American soldiers during World War II.
As of July, Senate voted unanimously to support the bill providing the 260,000 with the honor. The sponsor for the legislation titled: Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015 is Sen. Hirono, Mazie K. from Hawaii.
Now, the vote is scheduled for today.
— FilVetRep (@FilVetsREP) November 25, 2016
If it passes, then it will go next to the President’s desk.
In a press statement released about the monumental and life changing impact this will have on the men that served this country, Hirono said, “This week, Congress will take the next step to recognize the brave and courageous service of Filipino World War II veterans like Domingo Los Banos from Kauaʻi.”
The bill was originally introduced in 2015 and according to a social media share by Hirono on Tuesday, there is already signs of support in the House.
— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) November 28, 2016
The HI Senator worked with Tulsi Gabbard, a representative from the state, to advocate for this proposal.
Gabbard released a statement about the importance of this vote. She said the “long overdue” recognition is needed because Filipino and Filipino Americans were denied their benefits as members of the military when they came home from war.
Good news! The House will take a historic vote this week to honor our Filipino World War II veterans with the Congressional Gold Medal.
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) November 29, 2016
The Representative’s office stated that there is an estimated 18,000 Filipino and Filipino Americans still alive, that are without the benefits that were promised to them, as they fought side by side next to others.
I need your help to get the Filipino Veterans of WWII Congressional Gold Medal bill passed before the end of the year.
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) November 18, 2016