WWII Filipino vets finish a 60-year quest
Last updated 2-12-09 at 9:29 a.m.
On Monday, Feb. 9, the U.S. Senate authorized the release of a stimulus bill in the amount of $198 million to make amends for not giving World War II Filipino veterans the recognition they have sought for more than 60 years.
The 18,000 Filipino vets will receive up to $15,000 each for their services.
This 60-year quest started with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who, in 1941, drafted 140,000 soldiers to fight in WWII from the Philippines, which was then a U.S. colony. One year later, Congress passed a law allowing Filipino soldiers to become U.S. citizens.
However, in 1946, President Truman signed two bills revoking the soldiers’ citizenship rights as well as veterans’ benefits. Truman later said he regretted his actions on this matter and that they were meant to be a postwar cost-saving measure. (end)