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Filipino WWII veterans invited at Romney campaign stop in Las Vegas

/ 09:51 PM October 02, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney

Filipino World War II veterans were literally at the front and center during the recent campaign stop of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in Las Vegas last Sept. 21.

In the audience were two Filipino World War II veterans in Nevada who are still fighting for compensation and recognition from the US government. They, along with families of other veterans, were invited by the Romney campaign for the event.

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At the rally held at University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), Romney recognized the “patriotism of men and women who served” including that of World War II veterans.

FAFOAP founder Ceasar Elpidio, in a statement, noted that the group “finally met its goal of having one of the presidential candidates meet some of our veterans and have them aware of our pleas for help.”

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“This visit is just a starting point in building new bridges in Washington DC for our veterans and the Filipino community,” he said.

Romney, along with Republican candidates in Nevada, was recently endorsed by a group of Filipino-Americans who recognized the support that these candidates gave to Filipino World War II veterans.

The political action committee Filipino-American Families of America in Politics (FAFOAP) was formed amid the continued fight of families of Filipino World War II veterans for recognition.

At a campaign event last Sept. 17, the group had endorsed the candidacy of US Sen. Dean Heller in his bid to keep his seat as senator from Nevada. FAFOAP noted the senator’s recently-introduced Senate Bill 3530 which will allow veterans “to work with military historians to verify their records so they can receive proper benefits for their service.”

Aside from the Republican presidential ticket, FAFOAP also supports two US representatives from Nevada who have earlier shown support for Filipino World War II veterans.

“We endorse presidential and vice presidential candidates Gov. Mitt Romney, Cong. Paul Ryan, Cong. Joe Heck, and Cong. Mark Amodei in this year’s election,” the group said in a previous statement.

Heck, representative of Nevada’s third district, initiated a Congressional probe last March to look into the government’s numerous denials of veterans’ compensation claims.

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Amodei, representative of the state’s second district, also vowed to support the issue in favor of Filipino soldiers.

At the UNLV event, Romney supporters thanked the Filipino World War II veterans for their service to the government, FAFOAP co-founder Luke Perry noted. – Dymphna Calica-La Putt/Asian journal

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