After 64 Years, Filipino World War II Veterans Say It's About Time They Get Their Benefits
VA Benefit Blog 64 years is a long time
Filipino World War II veterans and their supporters are making their way down Temple Street in LA as part of today's rally, urging US lawmakers to give them their military benefits after 64 years of waiting.
Participants from 16 schools joined the event, which ends at the Federal Building, to support the remaining 60,000 Filipino veterans who have yet to receive
the $1,200 in monthly pensions for US servicemen.
Filipino veterans, most of whom are well into their 80s and 90s, found some relief after the Obama administration granted applicants last year a woefully low one-time sum of $15,000 for their time served, as part of the Stimulus Act.
The problem is, roughly half of the 46,000 who applied so far have had their claims denied over a technicality.
In response, groups filed a lawsuit against the federal government on Oct. 8, stating they were unfairly treated.
Cynics view the government's piecemeal legislation over the years as a numbers game, with lawmakers waiting for the old-timers to die off rather than grant them their full benefits.
But as the former Filipino soldiers have proven, it will take more than an act of Congress for them to give up on their dream of receiving the recognition and benefits they deserve from the US military.