- Posted May 29, 2014 by
VA FAILED MY VETERAN FATHER MISERABLY
My father was a WWII Philippine American Commonwealth Soldier with proper documentations of his services during the war under the US government. After the war, he became a teacher and a community leader. When he retired from teaching, he became our town's Councillor in the Philippines. He devoted his time making sure that the legacy of WWII Veterans will not be forgotten. He brought forth local resolutions to install a marker in remembrance to his fellow WWII Veterans from our town which is now erected at our town's plaza. He also successfully mediated to obtain a place for a cemetery exclusively for war Veterans in our town. After his term as Councilor he focused and work for the Veterans as District Commander of the Philippine Veterans Association in our province.
He served his Comrades for ten straight years undefeated in every election of officers. His position was vacated when he suffered a stroke.
When Pres. Barack Obama signed and approved 'The American Recovery And Reinvestment Act of 2009', my father was one of those who lined up to claim for his Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Fund despite his illness.
He filed his application with full documentations in February 26, 2009 in Cebu City. During the time of filing, the relatives were told by the Veterans Affairs' Staff/Representatives 'Not to worry because even if the Veteran dies during the process, the family will still get the benefits.' My siblings and those other families of the Veterans trusted and relied on this promise so they did not make any follow up to speed up the process.
My father waited and waited until his health deteriorated. The wait didn't only take months but for two long years. He died waiting for his compensation which he thought the US whom he loved so much will deliver promptly.
My brother would tell me that my father will try to get up from bed when somebody comes home from the town proper and asked if he has any letter from the Veterans Office in Manila. He died in March 2011 without receiving his compensation.
I, his daughter, who is a Filipino Canadian did a follow up and made inquiries about my father's benefits after his death. I have written to Veterans Affairs in Manila and found out that actually, when the Veterans died, the compensation will be forfeited. And that's what happens to my father. The promises that the VA Staff made during the submissions of my father's application was totally false, untrue and misleading. Had they not said those pledges, maybe the families will find a way to help speed up the process.
I then requested the Veterans Affairs Office in Manila to provide me copies of my fathers documents and the decisions they made for my father's claims. You can imagine receiving the files of my father's documents and a letter containing the decision that my father was approved of the benefits and was actually entitled for the benefits about three months after his death.
I have all the documentations and the letter stipulating that he is entitled for $9,000 US dollars. But VA deemed it too late. VA MANILA TOOK TWO YEARS to process my father's claim and forfeited it without due considerations to the feelings of a WWII Veteran's survivors.
I am told that the Cheque intended for him was returned to the US Treasury. There was no proof but a simple copy of an unprofessional ledger stating that the reason for the return was and I quote, "Undeliverable- Verify Address." My father did not changed address since birth. Why was a letter from VA undeliverable?
There were two other Veterans who died waiting that I knew of. I can imagine how many Veterans who died waiting for the approval of their claims in remote areas in the Philippines without receiving their compensations. But were the monies for these Claimants actually returned to the US Treasury? I wanted answers and I wanted Pres. Obama to answer this very important question; HOW DID THE PROCESS OF PROVING A WWII VETERAN WITH PROPER DOCUMENTATIONS TOOK THAT LONG? Two years in fact.
The VA in Manila and its main Office in the US will answer for me because I want my father's compensation be released for the benefit of the school that he loved dearly. I, as his unmarried daughter, would want to build a Library for the school children of Garcia Park Elementary School in my father's memory. I want his benefits to build his legacy.
The delay of the process that took two years was not my father's fault. I have all my father's documentation and I challenged Pres. Obama to give what the US owed to my father who served alongside Americans to free the Commonwealth of the Philippines from Japanese occupation and for risking his young life to answer the call of duty. He was only 17 years old when called to defend his country.
I want this matter to reach the office of Pres. Barack Obama. My father deserved this compensation. I will not ceased until I get answers why his Compensation for the Filipino Veterans Equity Fund was delayed horrendously.
It isn't about the money. It is about respecting my father's legacy of serving his country as a Commonwealth of America. His legacy as a war hero and his heroism and bravery during the war did not die with him. And being his surviving daughter, I want the world to know- my father will not die in vain.