November 19, 2013

HIRONO, HELLER WORK TO HELP FILIPINO VETERANS RECEIVE DESERVED BENEFITS

Senators File Bipartisan Filipino Veterans Promise Amendment To NDAA

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Mazie K. Hirono and Dean Heller (R-NV) have filed an amendment to S.1197, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This legislation will help all eligible Filipino veterans receive the compensation they are entitled to for their service to the United States during World War II.

“Mahalo to Senator Heller for partnering with me to help ensure all Filipino World War II veterans who bravely served alongside Americans in the critical South West Pacific Theatre receive the compensation they have earned. Given the advanced age of many of these Filipino veterans, we simply cannot wait any longer to establish a process that fairly recognizes veterans who deserve benefits,” said Hirono.

“This amendment is the least we can do for our nation’s brave Filipino veterans. Every effort must be made to ensure that those individuals who valiantly served alongside U.S. troops are properly recognized for their contributions to our nation. I am proud to work across party lines with Senator Hirono to ensure these Filipino veterans are treated with dignity and respect,” said Senator Heller.

After World War II, the U.S. Army created the Approved Revised Reconstructed Guerilla Roster of 1948, also known as the “Missouri List,” based on individuals who came forward after the war to receive healthcare. This list has been used by the military to verify those who served alongside U.S. troops in the Philippines. It is possible that some Filipinos who fought were not added to this list and could be improperly denied benefits.

The Filipino Veterans Promise Amendment would direct the Department of Defense (DOD), in consultation with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), to establish a process for determining whether certain individuals meet the necessary service requirements to receive veterans’ benefits and subsequently be verified as a Veteran by the United States Army.