Washington, D.C. – The National Alliance for Filipino Veterans Equity, in partnership with its member organizations including the National Federation of Filipino American Associations, released fact sheets and information from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as following statement for Veterans Day.
“Veterans Day is an opportunity to recognize the important contributions ALL our veterans have made to the freedoms we enjoy today,” said Jon Melegrito, NAFVE Co-Chair. “Filipino Americans in particular, are heirs to the legacy of putting on the uniform in defense of our country.
“From the soldiers in WWII who braved the horrors of the Bataan Death March to the most recent soldiers coming home from the Middle East, we honor them and all the brave women and men who have put their lives on the line for us all,” he added.
“Our ongoing work in service to the Filipino WWII veterans receives special focus today,” said Lillian Galedo, NAFVE Co-Chair and Executive Director of Oakland-based Filipino Advocates for Justice. “As the only community-based coalition to engage the Department of Veterans Affairs special working group focusing on the Filipino WWII Veterans Equity Compensation Fund, we have been holding direct conversations with the policymakers at the highest levels and bring to them the needs and concerns of our veterans. The community has very serious questions about the process and pending appeals and justice for these veterans is our highest priority.”
“We seek to bridge the conversations in Washington, DC to those that are happening in the community,” said Ben de Guzman, NAFVE National Coordinator. “By making the latest documents from the VA available online and opportunities to talk to the community such as the upcoming E-2010 NaFFAA Conference on November 19-21 (http://naffaae2010.wordpress.com/), we hope to try and bring some transparency to what has been a frustrating process to too many veterans.”
“We support the broader needs of our veterans- the FVEC payments are only the tip of the iceberg,” said Rozita Lee, NAFVE Executive Committee member and NaFFAA Vice Chair. “As a Commissioner on President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islander, I have been working with White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to make Filipino WWII veterans a priority item for their work. From the need for immigration reform to let them and all our families reunite to looking for new opportunities to meet the needs of the veterans, the conversation has been moving forward in encouraging ways.”