CAPAC Applauds Signing of Filipino WWII Veterans Congressional Gold Medal Act Into Law

Dec 15, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, President Barack Obama signed the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act into law. The legislation unanimously passed in both chambers of Congress earlier this year, and awards the Congressional Gold Medal to Filipino veterans who fought for the United States during World War II. Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus released the following statements:

Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), CAPAC Chair:

“Today, President Obama made history by signing the Filipino WWII Veterans Congressional Gold Medal Act into law. During World War II, more than 200,000 Filipino soldiers fought bravely alongside American forces and played an instrumental role in our country’s victory in the Pacific. Unfortunately, for decades, these Filipino WWII veterans were denied the benefits and recognition they had both earned and deserve. We in CAPAC have made it a top priority to correct this injustice, and I am so thrilled that we will be able to finally recognize these WWII veterans for their heroism and service. I applaud Senator Hirono and Congresswoman Gabbard for their leadership and tireless work to get this bill across the finish line. This is a tremendous and long overdue victory for our Filipino veterans, their families, and our leaders within the Asian American and Pacific Islander community who helped to make this a reality.”

Senator Mazie K. Hirono (HI):

“The Filipino veterans of World War II overcame many challenges in their fight for compensation, family reunification, and verification of wartime service. By signing our bill into law, President Obama recognized these veterans’ courage and perseverance, both during the war and in the decades of battles for benefits that followed. This day is only possible thanks to the commitment of veterans, families, and advocates in Hawaii and across the country who worked tirelessly to see this effort through Congress. While this recognition is long overdue, the Congressional Gold Medal is a fitting tribute to the sacrifice that these veterans made for our country.”

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02):

“Today, history has been made as President Obama signs into law our bill to honor the more than 200,000 Filipino and Filipino-American soldiers that served our country during World War II. These loyal and courageous soldiers suffered, fought, with many giving up their lives alongside their American counterparts throughout the war. It has been an honor to personally get to know some of these veterans and their families, and to hear them humbly tell their courageous stories of service. Though less than 18,000 of our Filipino WWII veterans are still alive today, this recognition is a testament to each and every one of our Filipino WWII veterans who earned and deserve their place amongst our greatest generation. To our Filipino veterans, their families, and all who worked so hard to make today a reality, maraming salamat sa inyong lahat.”


The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and Members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.