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New program aims to help aging U.S. Filipino WWII veterans finally get help.




Filipino veterans, family members and supporters join in the annual parade honoring their service. (Photo courtesy of The Valor Project)
Filipino veterans, family members and supporters join in the annual parade honoring their service. (Photo courtesy of The Valor Project)
Rodney Cajudo/Valor Project

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During World War Two, more than 250-thousand Filipinos fought alongside American soldiers in the Philippines.

They responded to a call from then-President Franklin Roosevelt to fight against Japanese occupation. 

The Filipino soldiers were promised U.S. citizenship, full pay and benefits...

...but that offer was rescinded after the war. 

Even when those former soldiers were granted U.S. citizenship in 1990 and began arriving in this country, they did not get what they felt was due. 

"When they started arriving in the 1990's, they had this rude awakening they were not eligible for anything all," Luisa Antonio, executive director for the Veterans Equity Center, said to Take Two's A Martinez. "They were able to come to the US, but did not have any source of income and they were not able to go to the VA for medical services."

Additionally, many of their family members who were sponsored to join them have faced long waits for Visas. 

But earlier this month a change in US immigration policy will speed up Visa approvals for dependents of those veterans so they can come to the US to take care of their elderly parents.

 Antonio is helping families apply for the new program.

To hear the full conversation click the blue player above.