On Veterans Day, NCAPA Honors Our Veterans, Renews Call for Congressional Gold Medal for Filipino World War II Veterans

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nov. 11, 2016

 Contact: Mary Tablante;

 (202) 706-6768;

 

mary@ncapaonline.org

   

On Veterans Day, NCAPA Honors Our Veterans, Renews Call for Congressional Gold Medal for Filipino World War II Veterans

On Veterans Day, the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) recognizes the honor, patriotism, and sacrifice of the men and women who have served our nation, as well as our military families. We also renew our call to Congress to show our appreciation for the Filipino and Filipino American veterans, who fought with dignity and courage as they defended the United States during World War II, by awarding them with the highest civilian honor: the Congressional Gold Medal.

In July, the Senate passed the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act (S.1555), introduced by Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Dean Heller (R-NV) and Harry Reid (D-NV). This legislation would recognize the more than 250,000 Filipino men and women who served the United States. Last month, Filipino American History Month, NCAPA sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, encouraging him to schedule consideration for this bill--which has more than 300 cosponsors--when the House returns to session next week.

NCAPA National Director Christopher Kang said, “On Veterans Day, we do something that we should do every day--recognize and honor the service and sacrifices of the men and women who preserve our liberty and freedom and their families, who serve our nation alongside them. In this spirit, we urge Congress to honor a group of veterans whose heroism and service have not been fully appreciated--the Filipino World War II veterans who are highly deserving of the Congressional Medal of Honor. They served more than 70 years ago, and only 15,000 remain alive today, so it is urgent that the House of Representatives pass this bill this year, so that our nation can recognize them without further delay.”

In a statement from the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetREP), chairman Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba (Ret.) urged a final vote for Congress to pass this legislation in order to honor their service, compared to the 1946 Rescission Acts that stripped Filipino veterans of their benefits and citizenship: “We urge this final vote to complete this critical mission, so that President Obama can immortalize America’s gratitude to honor Filipino veterans of WWII as war time heroes who defended America and its citizens.”

In addition, the application period for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program remains open. This program allows certain family members of these veterans to come to the United States while they wait for their immigrant visas. More information is available at uscis.gov/fwvp.

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Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is a coalition of 35 national Asian Pacific American organizations that serves to represent the interests of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities and to provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns. Our communities are the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States, currently making up approximately six percent of the population.

 


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