House bill recognizes Filipino soldiers who fought in World War II

Filipino soldiers who fought under U.S. command during World War II will be recognized for serving the nation. 

The Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act (S.1555) — sponsored by Sen. Mazie K. Hirono and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, which unanimously passed by the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the bill in July — will now head to the president’s desk for final approval.

“For months, we have said that time is running out to recognize Filipino World War II veterans for their brave service,” Hirono said. “Today’s House passage is the culmination of decades of work by these veterans and their families to recognize their key role in the Allied victory, and their decades-long fight for benefits.”

Rep. Gabbard said the United States Congress took a historic step forward in honoring the more than 200,000 Filipino and Filipino-American soldiers that served our country during World War II.

“Our Filipino WWII veterans have waited decades for this recognition alongside units like the Tuskegee Airmen and Hawaii’s own 442nd/100th Infantry Battalion with the Congressional Gold Medal—our nation’s highest civilian honor,” she said. “With just 18,000 of these Filipino World War II veterans still alive today, we cannot afford to wait any longer. I urge the President to sign this bill into law before the year’s end, and honor our veterans with this long-overdue recognition.”

Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba (Ret), chairman of the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetREP), said today is a significant seminal period in American history – second only to the liberation of the Philippines and surrender of the Japanese Imperial Forces on August 15, 1945.

“Now we can tell our veterans with pride in our hearts that this grateful nation has, at last, granted them recognition for the selfless sacrifice they endured in war, and restored their dignity and honor in service to their nation,” Taguba said.

S.1555, the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act, awards the medal collectively to the over 260,000 Filipino and Filipino-American soldiers who responded to President Roosevelt’s call-to-duty and fought under the American flag during World War II. 

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