SCHUMER TO CO-SPONSOR ‘FILIPINO VETERANS OF WORLD WAR II CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL ACT OF 2015’; APPROXIMATELY 300,000 FILIPINO SOLDIERS FOUGHT IN WWII, YET HAVE NEVER BEEN FORMALLY RECOGNIZED BY THE U.S.
In 1941, Filipinos in the U.S. Enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces During WWII & Approx. 300,000 Filipino Soldiers Fought; Command Center for United States Army Forces in the Far East Was Designated in the Philippines
Legislation Would Recognize & Honor 300K Filipino Veterans of WWII With Congressional Gold Medal for Service; Veterans of Foreign Wars Supports the Legislation
Schumer: This is a Long Overdue Honor for These Filipino WWII Heroes
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that he will co-sponsor (S.1555) the “Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015.” Specifically, the legislation will recognize the bravery and patriotism of Filipino members of the United States Armed Forces, who courageously served during World War II. The bill, bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), requires that a Congressional Gold Medal be awarded to the Filipino Veterans of World War II in recognition of their dedicated service during that conflict. The award would be given to the Smithsonian Institution.
“The Filipino veterans of World War II fought selflessly and bravely for America in our hour of great need; They put their lives on the line and their courageous acts and sacrifices must be recognized,” said Schumer. “Over 57,000 of these brave allied soldiers died and many more were injured. This long-overdue legislation will award the Filipino veterans of World War II with a much-deserved Congressional Gold Medal, and I am urging all my colleagues in the Senate to support it. Not another day should pass without a grateful nation saying an appropriate ‘thank-you’ to these brave men for their sacrifice and their service.”
In 1941, Filipinos in the United States began to enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces, and formed the First and Second Filipino Infantry Regiments. Today, nearly 18,000 of the 300,000 Filipino soldiers who fought in World War II are living in the United States and the Philippines. Tragically, more than 57,000 were killed in action. Their courageous contribution attests to the Allied victory in the Pacific. The brave Filipinos who supported the U.S. during World War II consisted of soldiers, scouts and guerrillas whose persistence and determination to the country made them invaluable members of the Armed Forces. Filipino soldiers participated in myriad of military operations, including infantry combat, intelligence, sabotage, demolition, and reconnaissance.
Schumer today announced his support for the “Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015.” Schumer explained that earlier this year the Veterans of Foreign Wars passed a resolution in support of awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the Filipino veterans of World War II. Schumer said that it is imperative that the United States recognizes the efforts of these individuals, as the U.S. has formally recognized other minority groups in the past, including: Navajo Code Talkers, the Tuskegee Airmen, the Women Air Force Service Pilots, the Japanese, American Nisei Soldiers, the Montford Point Marines, and the 65th Infantry Regiment.