15-year-old Veterans Equity Center in SF to hold ‘Heroes’ Reception’
SAN FRANCISCO – Filipino World War II veterans will be honored at a “Heroes’ Reception” marking the 15th year anniversary of the Veterans Equity Center, at 6 p.m. on November 12 at Zendesk on 1019 Market Street.
The Veterans Equity Center (VEC), the only facility of its kind in the nation was established in 1999, to provide services for Filipino World War II veterans who served under the US flag but were unjustly denied any recognition or benefits promised for their service.
Their plight sparked the Filipino WWII Veterans Equity movement, which became the arena of activism for many members of the Filipino community.
“When we opened our agency 15 years ago, thousands of Filipino veterans in the Bay Area availed of our legal and social services,” according to Executive Director Luisa Antonio.
She lamented their delayed recognition, “considering that their US citizenship came during their twilight years, many of these veterans passed away without close family members. We, at the VEC, became their family and we have been proud of having afforded the opportunity to serve them.”
One of the veterans to be honored during the Heroes Reception is Ciriaco Cruz who firmly stood for his rights to recognition despite several denials of his claim by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
His spouse, Imelda Cruz, expressed appreciation for the Center’s persistence in getting the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation for him. Cruz received just last month, October, his $15,000 check after aggressive representation by VEC staff and volunteers before the Veterans Affairs Office.
VEC has expanded its services to include low-income seniors, adults with disabilities, LGBTQ, formerly incarcerated and homeless individuals. VEC assists these groups through case management, counseling, free legal clinics, health services and affordable housing opportunity assistance.
One of its programs has continued to be the Bill Sorro Housing Program (BiSHoP), which addresses housing-related issues for low to moderate-income families, individuals and seniors. BiSHoP provides an array of free services including housing application assistance, case management and monthly housing clinic.
Tickets for the event may be obtained by visiting the www.vetsequitycenter.org or https://www.eventbrite.com/e/veterans-equity-center-15th-anniversary-celebration-tickets-13422379699. For further information please contact Luisa Antonio at 1415 455 2347 or email her firstname.lastname@example.org.