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Posted: 7/2/2003 2:03:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/2/2003 2:07:32 AM EDT by Methos]
from ... [url]http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/arrealuyo.htm[/url] 14 May 2003 ---------- [b]Augusto Roa Realuyo Sergeant, United States Army[/b] [img]http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/agrealuyo-photo-01.jpg[/img] Death and honor Bury me at Arlington, Filipino vet pleaded Augusto Roa Realuyo After serving his adopted country, a Filipino-American war hero's fondest wish was to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery. But Augusto Roa Realuyo died in a Manhattan [u]Veterans Affairs hospital[/u] last month at age 82 without the Army consenting to his request for a place at the nation's premier military cemetery. Yesterday, Realuyo's family asked a Manhattan Federal Court to direct the Army to do so, citing his two tours of duty during World War II, his capture and internment by the Japanese and his participation in the infamous Bataan Death March. "It is very distressing, but I had to do it," Realuyo's brother, Pompeo, 69, a lawyer, said of the lawsuit. A law signed by then-President Bill Clinton in 2000 grants Filipino-Americans who served in World War II burial rights in national cemeteries, such as one in Pinelawn, Long Island, run by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Arlington - home to the Tomb of the Unknowns and the graves of President John F. Kennedy and thousands of vets from the Civil War to Desert Storm - is administered by the Army. And Army officials say Realuyo is not eligible. So while the issue of his burial site remains contested, Realuyo's body remains at a Greenwich Village funeral home. "He only talked of being buried in Arlington," his brother explained. "He would walk through the cemetery and point out names and platoons" of soldiers who went through the Bataan Death March. According to military records, Realuyo was a lieutenant in the Filipino Army until General Douglas MacArthur conscripted him into the U.S. Army in the weeks before Pearl Harbor. Captured by Japanese soldiers on April 9, 1942, he was sent home August 4, 1942, his health in ruins. "I could not recognize him. He was all bones," said Pompeo, who was 8 years old at the time. Realuyo returned to service in 1944 and was discharged honorably after the war. He came to the U.S. in 1946, became an architect and raised three children. When the Philippines became an independent nation in 1946, a law took effect stripping Filipino-American POWs of their status as American war vets - unless they were still in the U.S. Army uniform. Clinton's order changed that. Realuyo became a U.S. citizen in 1981 and was treated at U.S. veterans hospitals until his death April 25. Shortly before he died, the Philippines ambassador came to his hospital room on the 61st anniversary of the death march to honor him. "He opened his eyes and smiled a little bit," recalled Realuyo's sister, Amelia. [b]"I'm not asking for a special favor," Pompeo said. "My brother has already paid his dues." [/b] --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Link Posted: 7/2/2003 3:27:54 AM EDT
Sny info on why the Army says he's ineligible?
Link Posted: 7/2/2003 4:03:32 AM EDT
Just a guess but the Army (Burriel Services?)runs Arlington National Cemetary, not the VA. It's in a different class. President Clintons EO allows them to be burried in National Cemetaries.
Link Posted: 7/2/2003 12:52:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/3/2003 2:15:50 PM EDT by Methos]
Apparently the article has some the facts wrong. Augusto Roa Realuyo was not a Sergeant. He was a 1st Lieutenant in the Philippine Commonwealth Army. Keep in mind that the “Philippine Commonwealth Army” of 1941 was not the same as the “Philippine Army” of today. Also, President Clinton did not issue a Presidential Order; he signed a law in 2000 which was passed by Congress [u]returning[/u] only some benefits to the Filipino Veterans of WWII. He did not sign anything restoring them full recognition as US Veterans. Augusto Roa Realuyo will not be buried at Arlington, although the 2000 law allows Filipino WWII veterans burial at "National" Cemeteries, because as Pony Driver pointed out Arlington is run by the US Army and not the VA which runs all other National Cemeteries. Although the 2000 law is clear that he is entitled to burial at any [VA] National Cemetery, [s]including Arlington since he was a POW while serving as part of the USAFFE during WWII[/s], he will not be allowed burial at Arlington because the Army does not recognize him as a veteran as a result of a 1946 Act specifically disqualifying such military service from veteran status. [s]Basically, [u]there are two US Laws contradicting each other[/u][/s]. It is difficult to compare Army organizations in the Philippines during that period to any of the today’s US Armed forces as the situation of WWII Filipino soldiers was unlike anything we’ve seen before or, anything since. Hence, a little historical background is needed to explain the different military units involved. The United States acquired the Philippines (along with Guam and Puerto Rico) from Spain upon the conclusion of the Spanish-American War in 1898. Soon after the acquisition, Filipinos who thought they would finally be free from over 300 years of[url=www.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Philippines] Spanish rule (1570-1898)[/url] suddenly found themselves ruled by the United States and “revolted” which led to the “Philippine Insurrection” of 1899 (aka, the “Philippine-American War”). The United States sent the US Army which in turn formed the [b]Philippine Scouts (PS)[/b] the same year to help quash [url=www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emilio_Aguinaldo]Emilio Aguinaldo[/url] and his rebel troops who had previously fought with the Americans against Spain . Aguinaldo was finally captured in 1901 by a force of Philippine Scouts; however, the fighting would go on for years. [url=www.philippine-scouts.org/]Philippine Scouts[/url] were always recognized as Regular Army of the United States. In 1928, the Philippine Department, a subordinate US Army command of US Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE), was formed. By 1941, it commanded several Philippine Scout regiments, the Philippine Division, as well as a few other Regular Army and National Guard units from mainland United States. In 1934, the United States passed the “Tydings-McDuffie Act” to grant Philippine independence by 1944. The act allowed the formation of a Philippine Commonwealth government and the formation of a number of departments, but it could not raise and control its own army just yet. However, recognizing the eventual need for an army, the United States appointed retired General Douglas MacArthur in 1937 as “Field Marshal” to organize and build a [b]Philippine Commonwealth Army (CA)[/b] in accordance with the new Philippine government’s National Defense Act which outlined a plan for its future defense, but the allegiance and control of this new army would be maintained by the United States in the interim. [When war with Japan seemed imminent in July 1941, President Roosevelt, by Executive Order (6 Fed. Reg. 3825) [url=www.army.mil/cmh-pg/brochures/pi/pi.htm] incorporated the commonwealth forces[/url] into the US Army, and recalled General MacArthur from retirement, placing him in command of USAFFE. General MacArthur was now in charge of the Regular Army units under the Philippine Department and the CA. CA soldiers swore the [url=www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/macarthur/sfeature/bataan_filipino.html ]same oath[/url], raised and saluted the same colors, and wore the same uniform as other soldiers of the United States Army. Additonally, President Roosevelt promised CA soldiers full veteran benefits as their Regular Army counterparts. Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7th and mounted air and amphibious attacks on U.S. forces in the Philippines on December 8, 1941. The defenders fought the Japanese for four months without resupply and support until the remaining U.S. troops surrendered in May 1942. Those RA, PS and CA soldiers who evaded capture recruited local civilians and formed militia/guerilla units to repel the Japanese invaders from US territory. The US Army coordinated activities as well as paid (with home-made resistance money) and promised benefits for the guerilla soldiers. A [url=www.angelfire.com/on4/zambalesforum/recognizedphilguerilla.htm]full list[/url] was made of the [b]“Recognized Guerilla Forces”[/b], and NARA at Washington, D.C. keeps rosters and records of all members of these units. When the war ended, the Philippine Scouts were reorganized. [b]New Philippine Scouts[/b] were recruited and most served with the new Philippine Division which was designated as the US Army’s 12th Infantry Division (PS). The War Department proposed to organize a second Philippine Scout division, the 14th Infantry Division, but never did so. The 12th ID served as US occupation forces throughout Southeast Asia including Japan. In 1947, the 12th ID was inactivated and the remaining PS regiments were finally disbanded in 1951. The PS, CA and Recognized Guerilla soldiers were all acknowledged as Military Veterans of the United States after the war. Even General Omar Bradly stated in October 1945 when he became Administrator of the Veterans Administration, that all of them would be treated the same as any other American Veteran. However, in February 1946, [u]Congress passed the “Rescission Act of 1946” (PL 79-301)[/u] which said the service of CA and recognized Guerilla soldiers during the war "shall not be deemed to be or to have been service in the military or national forces of the United States or any component thereof or any law of the United States conferring rights, privileges or benefits." In May 1946, [u]Congress passed the Second Supplemental Surplus Appropriation Rescission Act[/u]. It said the New/Special Philippine Scouts who joined on or after October 6, 1945 are no longer recognized and veterans and no longer eligible for VA benefits. The Old/Regular Philippine Scouts who served before that 1945 date are still considered Veterans and entitled to full VA benefits. A measly few benefits have been returned to these CA, Special PS and Recognized Guerilla veterans, but not much. Congress granted U.S. citizenship to Filipino veterans in 1990. Three years ago, Congress provided health care and burial services for Filipinos who served directly in the U.S. armed forces, but VA health care was provided only to Commonwealth Army veterans for war-related disabilities. Bush last month endorsed legislation that would provide full disability compensation for service-connected disabilities, and eligibility for burial at national cemeteries for the Special PS. He also supported comprehensive health care, a crucial need for the aging veterans, for Commonwealth Army veterans and New Scouts. IMO, the government needs to stop screwing around and let them have what was taken away in 1946: recognition as Veterans with full benefits. These old warriors are in their 80s; how much longer will they use their benefits. Congress might as well give it back to them.
Link Posted: 7/2/2003 1:07:20 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/2/2003 2:12:56 PM EDT
Thanks for clarifying. And the history lesson.
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 2:11:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/3/2003 2:27:44 PM EDT by Methos]
I fixed the links. Also, I checked out the [url=frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/useftp.cgi?IPaddress=162.140.64.21&filename=publ419.106&directory=/disk3/wais/data/106_cong_public_laws]Public Law[/url] (Sec. 331) which was passed in 2000 and made some corrections above. The President signed PL 106-419, and it amended [b]only[/b] [url=www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/38/2402.html]38 USC Sec. 2402[/url] which defines eligibility requirements for burial in VA run National Cemeteries, by giving an exception for Filipino veterans of WWII even though they are still [url=www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/38/107.html]not recognized[/url] as Veterans of the US Armed Forces. Eligibility for burial at Arlington National Cemetery is defined by [url=a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/14mar20010800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2002/julqtr/pdf/32cfr553.15.pdf]32 CFR Sec. 553.15[/url], and it was not amended by the law passed in 2000. Therefore, the US Army still makes no exceptions for the Filipino veterans to be buried at Arlington. You can just imagine that this old man probably went around thinking he could be buried at Arlington because it was a “National” cemetery and knew from watching CNN or reading the newspaper that Clinton signed a law in 2000 saying he can now be buried at a “National” cemetery. The old Bataan Death March survivor probably died content at least knowing he can be buried at Arlington. No one explained to him the fine print of the law says he can only be buried at VA run cemeteries. What a cruel joke. Even in death the government screwed him.
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 3:00:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/3/2003 3:00:59 PM EDT by bigsapper]
Old dogs and soldiers, keep off the grass
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[usa]
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 3:21:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By bigsapper: Thanks for clarifying. And the history lesson.
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No problemo. I recently became interested in this subject when some reporters wrote an article on my [url=bin.homestead.com/files/benny.jpg]grandfather[/url]. He was a sergeant in the Commonwealth Army during WWII and a Bataan Death March survivor. I’m still learning about this stuff myself.
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 11:40:59 PM EDT
Part of the problems result from the US acquiescing to certain requests made by the new Philippine Gov't in the late 40s. This was done by the RP to prevent wholesale immigration to the states. Truman agreed to it which apparently at the time made sense to both countries but did revoke Veterans status from many who should have been treated a lot more honorably. What we are seeing are the last remnants dying off literally.
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