Tulsi Gabbard, US Representative from Hawaii, recently held a roundtable to inform leaders of the Hawaiian Filipino community of the progress she’s had getting a bill passed that will award Filipino veterans of World War II with the Congressional Gold Medal.
Bill HR2737 has recently passed a milestone critical to its passage. After decades of trying to get recognition for the Filipino veterans, she feels that the bill is closer to passage than ever.
Gabbard mentioned that time is of the essence if we are ever going to recognize the contribution of Filipino veterans of World War II. She said that there are only 18,000 of them still alive today.
Gabbard introduced the bill last year. The bill seeks to acknowledge over 200,000 Filipino-American soldiers that fought with American troops against Japan in World War II.
305 members of Congress have signed on as co-sponsors. Gabbard is working with the leadership of the House to get a vote scheduled. Gabbard is hoping that support from the Filipino community in Hawaii and other organizations across the country, the bill will be passed into law by the end of the year, Maui Now reported.
The group at the roundtable with the Representative US-Philippines relations also discussed other important items, like improving understanding of Filipino history, higher education, immigration and family reunification, transition programs to help service members re-enter the civilian workforce, and the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program.