REPORT FROM THE OFFICE OF US REP COLLEEN HANABUSA – Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01) and U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) teamed up to introduce a bipartisan bill that would help Filipino veterans obtain the benefits they earned for their service to the United States during World War II.
The Filipino Veterans Promise Act authorizes the Department of Defense to establish an appeals process for Filipinos who have not been able to have their military service verified by the U.S. This bill gives these veterans the opportunity to have their records examined and verified by military historians so they can receive benefits.
U.S. Representative Hanabusa
“When we needed allies in Asia during World War II, the Filipino people did not hesitate. They volunteered to fight and die alongside American soldiers, and we promised them the same rights and benefits enjoyed by our troops in exchange for their sacrifice. These brave men served the American cause with honor, yet we have failed to fulfill our obligation. Too many veterans died feeling that the United States abandoned them, and the resentment lingers with their families.
“This bipartisan bill gives Filipino veterans the opportunity to verify their service with military historians in order to receive the benefits they fought for. It calls for complete examinations of their records, while providing proper oversight to the process. It is an important step in settling a long-due debt. I would like to thank Senator Heller for his leadership and hard work. We must continue every bipartisan effort in both chambers to ensure the United States fulfills its promise to these courageous men.”
“Nevada is home to brave Filipino veterans who served during World War II and have never been properly recognized for the sacrifices they made on our behalf. On each occasion that I have sat down and met with these men, I have been struck by their humility, love for our country, and selflessness. No doubt, they deserve to be treated fairly and with respect. I look forward to working with Representative Hanabusa to move this bipartisan legislation forward to ensure these veterans obtain the compensation they are owed.”
Following 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 health care. This list has been the sole document used by the military to verify those who served alongside U.S. troops in the Philippines. It is possible that some Filipinos who served were not added to this list, and therefore, would not be able to claim benefits.