Back row, left to right: Susan Pretro; Ron Mori, AARP Multicultural Leadership Manager; Maria Gillen, AARP New Product Development Director; Edna Kane-Williams, AARP Senior Vice President, Multicultural Leadership; (Ret.) Maj. Gen. Tony Taguba, Chairman of the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project; Bill Walsh, AARP Senior Strategic Advisor; Karina Hurley, AARP Strategic Communications Director; Daphne Kwok, AARP Vice President of Multicultural Leadership, Asian American and Pacific Islander Audience Strategy; Francis Montenegro. Front row: Leo Duran and Ryan Letada, CEO and Co-founder, NextDayBetter, at the FilVetREP Gala Celebration for Filipino WWII Veterans on October 25, 2017 in Tysons Corner, Va. Photo credit Jessie Whiles.
WASHINGTON, DC—AARP saluted the Filipino and Filipino American veterans of World War II by funding the minting of 1,000 bronze replicas of the Congressional Gold Medal to be given to veterans and their family members in recognition of their service and sacrifice. Commissioned by Congress, the medals are the highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions.
The veterans were honored in a national celebration on Capitol Hill on October 25, where House Speaker Paul Ryan presented them the Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of the nation for the distinguished contributions of 260,000 Filipino soldiers and guerrillas during World War II in the Philippines.
“AARP is proud to support the efforts to recognize and celebrate Filipino and Filipino American World War II veterans,” said Daphne Kwok, AARP Vice President of Multicultural Leadership, Asian American and Pacific Islander Audience Strategy. “We are so pleased to join with the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project and this nation in the shared goal of ensuring that future generations of Americans understand these vets’ incredible sacrifices.”
The Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetREP) spearheaded the effort to pass the Congressional Gold Medal legislation and worked with the U.S. Mint to manage the minting and production of the medals.
“It has been 72 years since the end of World War II, and these vets’ service and sacrifice have not been forgotten,” said FilVetREP Chairman (Ret.) Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba. “These Congressional Gold Medals recognize and celebrate the extraordinary sacrifices and contributions of Filipino WWII soldiers. AARP’s support has been extremely valuable in this effort.”
Filipino World War II veterans or surviving family members are urged to register so they can receive long-overdue recognition of their service. Register with The Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project at filvetrep.org/registry.
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