Sunday, February 15, 2009

Veterans’ Honour and Benefits: Won At Last!

Great news for the Filipino veterans of World War II! The United States of America has finally recognized the “Heroes of Bataan” –the people whose only obsession is to be free and the official recognition of their long march to death. Such recognitions and benefits are included in the $787 billion sitimulus bill scheduled to be signed into law by US President Barack Obama.


It was six decades ago since 1941 –when then U.S. President Roosevelt ordered Filipino soldiers to fight against the enemy- the veterans of devastating war kept on hoping that their cause will not just be laid to a shelf but be acknowledged with financial aid. All other nationals who just unmindfully participated and claimed to be a part of American War were recognized to the dismay of the true Filipino heroes. It has been a long and wearisome way for US recognition –the same way as has been the way for the long march to death- before the US congress finally gave way from their refusal to admit responsibilities and promised restitution.


Today the veteran heroes will be remunerated not only for honor and gallantry at war but for the display of courage in defence of democracy. The monetary assistance, although it is just a pecuniary benefit in exchange of the lives and blood they shed, is a welcomed development they longed for.


It is hoped that the people in-charge, particularly, the Philippines Veteran Affairs Office personnel will not take advantage of less-oriented veterans in claiming such benefits. It should be off-limit to by-standers and fixers who will entice veterans of smooth and speedy outcome of their claims in exchange of hefty amount for petty and menial job. An information and free assistance desk should be installed in aiding the aging veterans and beneficiaries.


I think this little advice will be of help in any way. “Mabuhay and beteranong Pinoy.”

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