Letter Addressing H.R. 760, Veterans Equity Act
LET US RESTORE JUSTICE TO ALL VETERANS COSPONSOR H.R. 760, FILIPINO VETERANS EQUITY ACT
To celebrate the 109th Philippine Independence Day, I invite you to cosponsor a bill of utmost importance, H.R. 760, the "Filipino Veterans Equity Act of 2007." This bipartisan legislation, with Congressman Darrell Issa as principle cosponsor, will provide full veterans' benefits to World War II Filipino Veterans who served at the request and under the command of the U.S. Military.
The total number of Filipino veterans who were called into service by President Franklin Roosevelt and served during World War II is estimated to be 200,000. Of those still surviving, just 18,155 have yet to receive the benefits they were promised and that they earned. The reason this inequity exists is because Congress ignored promises made by the United States and enacted the Rescissions Act in 1946 that limited the eligibility of these veterans for benefits. H.R. 760 would correct that inequity, recognize the service of these veterans to our nation, and provide them with the pensions, health care, and benefits available to all other service members who fought alongside the Filipino Veterans in World War II.
With each passing year, there are fewer surviving Filipino Veterans. It is time that we pass H.R. 760. Congress has twice adopted legislation to provide a limited number of benefits to some of these veterans, the ones living in the United States. H.R. 760 would eliminate remaining gaps in coverage and would ensure all Filipino Veterans the same benefits that are available to all other veterans of that war. Please join in this bipartisan effort to give these veterans their long overdue recognition.
House Committee on Veterans' Affairs