The Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetREP) is commemorating July 26th as the anniversary of President Franklin Roosevelt’s Military Order 81 for Filipino soldiers in World War II by announcing national activities and updates for the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal, including plans for a National Celebration in Washington, DC.
“Today, we take this opportunity to remember the insurmountable sacrifices these courageous soldiers made for our country and rededicate ourselves to making sure a grateful nation appropriately recognizes their service,” said FilVetREP National Chair, retired U.S. Army Major General Antonio M. Taguba. “We echo President Roosevelt’s Call to Service for the Filipino soldiers of WWII and call on our communities across the Nation to the unfinished work of recognizing their Duty to Country.”
“Recognizing Filipino World War II veterans with the Congressional Gold Medal is long overdue,” said Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii). “This announcement brings us closer to honoring thousands of veterans and their families for their service to the United States. As we mark 76 years since President Roosevelt’s call-to-arms, which inspired many of these veterans to volunteer to serve our country, I will continue to work with FilVetREP to see this effort through.”
This week, FilVetREP leadership has made significant progress in moving forward to a final Congressional Gold Medal and National Presentation:
On July 24, FilVetREP Leadership met with House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) senior staff to discuss plans for the official National Presentation ceremony of the Congressional Gold Medal. Working with Senate and House offices, FilVetREP is engaging in the planning process and will be making announcements in the coming weeks on dates, location, and logistics.
On July 25, General Taguba sent an official letter to the U.S. Mint making a formal request for the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal including a preferred design for the obverse and reverse (front and back) of the medal. As the officially designated National Liaison to the U.S. Mint for the Filipino WWII Veterans Congressional Gold Medal, General Taguba and FilVetREP leadership have been providing historical background and feedback to the U.S. Mint in a months long process for the design of the Congressional Gold Medal. The final Congressional Gold Medal design will be selected by the Department of the Treasury.
To mark todays’ anniversary of President Roosevelt’s Call to Service, FilVetREP leadership is taking part in activities around the country to commemorate today’s “Duty to Country” (List of events in formation):
· July 20, 2017- Filipino Young Professionals and NaFFAA Region 2 Fundraiser, Washington, DC
· July 21, 2017- FANHS- TX Issues #BalutChallenge4Vets https://www.facebook.com/FilVetREP/videos/1726447400729184/?hc_ref=ARTSh8kIP38z3-Vz8SfATdMdqXPShPTCXj3RgTlUSbHtKSUhzbUffqjWjC7Fny614hI
· July 22, 2017- Special Fundraiser in San Francisco by Genevieve Jopanda.https://www.gofundme.com/FilVetREP
· July 27, 2017- Summer Fun Fest Outreach for FilVetREP Region 6, Buckley AFB, Aurora, CO https://www.facebook.com/BuckleyAirForceBase/posts/1508404585847051
· July 29, 2017-NaFFAA Region 3A Empowerment Conference, Columbus, OHhttps://www.facebook.com/events/1873099516234971
· August 12, 2017- Pistahan Festival, San Francisco, CA http://www.pistahan.net/
· August 12, 2017- Fiesta in America, Secaucus, NJ http://fiestainamerica.com/
· Sept 30, 2017 – FAHNS – CA Fundraising Event http://www.fanhs-national.org/
Ongoing work to raise funds for the work to properly recognize Filipino WWII veterans with the Congressional Gold Medal is happening around the country. Donations will support making sure veterans receive bronze replicas of the Congressional Gold Medal, programming and events in Washington, DC for the official Presentation of the Congressional Gold Medal, and to create and implement an education program to ensure an enduring legacy for the Filipino WWII veterans.
Funds are being accepted on FilVetREP's web site: https://www.filvetrep.org/donatetoday
Historical BackgroundOn July 26, 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt issued a Military Order (6 Fed. Reg. 3825), directing all organized military units in the Commonwealth of the Philippines – Philippine Army, Philippine Scouts, Philippine Constabulary, and separate combat into service in defense of the United States. Eventually, 250,000 soldiers rallied and willingly served under the command of General Douglas MacArthur in the U.S. Army Forces in the Far East. These soldiers would serve under some of the most grueling and brutal conditions of the war, including the Bataan Death March.
The Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetREP), is a nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, community-based, all-volunteer national initiative whose mission is to obtain national recognition of Filipino and American WWII soldiers across the United States and the Philippines for their wartime service to the U.S. and the Philippines from July 26, 1941 to December 31, 1946. For more information about Filipino WWII veterans and how to get involved, visit our website at www.filvetrep.org or find us on Facebook or Twitter.