Resoundingly: Yes. And, finally, they're going to get it.The economic stimulus package includes long overdue financial payment to the remaining 18,000 Filipino veterans of World War II (out of some 250,000) who fought alongside U.S. soldiers against the Japanese. At the time of their enlistment, they were promised the same post-war benefits and pensions as American soldiers. For most, however, that promise was broken.Until now, that is. Democratic Senator Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii is responsible for getting the provision into the stimulus bill; its $198 million translates to $15,000 per veteran, paid in a lump sum.NPR's Morning Edition has a short audio piece by Richard Gonzales on the topic of Filipino remuneration, which has had a bittersweet reception in the veteran community. It is, of course, six decades late-and reaches a relatively paltry percentage of the soldiers who earned it.But the provision has also raised the ire of those who question why, exactly, this sort of funding has a place in a bill designed to stimulate the economy. While I don't know that it does deserve to be in this bill, it clearly deserves to have happened.Photo by Romeo Gacad via NYTimes.
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