Tuesday, October 13, 2009

While Guam Waits For WWII Reparations, U.S. Pays Out $100M To Filipino War Vets

While Guam Waits For WWII Reparations, U.S. Pays Out $100M To Filipino War Vets

By Jeff Marchesseault

GUAM - They suffered the same indignity as Guam's World War II survivors. Their unflagging loyalty to the United States through the violent crucible of war met no recompense for over six decades. In the long interval, most of their class died.

But earlier this year, that all began to change for the Philippines' surviving war veterans. Thanks to $198 million set aside in the Recovery Act, the U.S. has already paid half of that amount to Filipino veterans. About 70,000 of these remaining retired soldiers are receiving lump checks for $9,000 each if they are citizens of the Philippines and $15,000 if they are U.S. citizens.

According to a GMA News alert:

A total of $102 million had been distributed to some of the 34,000 Filipino World War II veterans who applied for the lump sum benefits package given by the US government, a Philippine official said Tuesday.

This news is likely to further inflame those on Guam who are fighting for reparations for the unincorporated U.S. territory's equally loyal war survivors and their families. Just last week the island learned that the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act would not be included in the $680 billion FY2010 Defense Authorization Act. Local leaders have been lobbying Congress for many years for comprehensive compensation while the island has watched its 'greatest generation' pass away.

GMA reports that only four months remain for Filipino war veterans to claim their checks.

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