HONOLULU, HI — Last month, Filipino American World War II veteran Domingo Los Banos passed away at the age of 93.
A well-known advocate for the Filipino veterans, Los Banos became a voice for thousands of people, after the Rescission Act of 1946 denied the benefits President Franklin Delano Roosevelt promised veterans from the Philippines in 1941.
“I think to a certain degree, it raised the awareness and activism for Filipinos, minorities, to speak up and be, be known to the general population so that whatever contributions or rich, the rich culture and even our talents should be recognized by the, by the community or should be part of the community. Not just the Filipino community.”
“I will always remember him as somebody who was such an advocate for the veterans and for, doing justice to Filipino Vets who gave their lives during World War II and had to wait a long, long time for appropriate recognition,” said Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono.
Even though members of Congress presented the congressional gold medal to Filipino WWII veterans in 2017, this honor has yet to provide the Filipino veterans the full benefits they deserve.
Community members are working hard to provide these veterans full benefits soon, including the opportunity to bring the veterans’ families to the United States on a fast track, as well as funds for veterans who want to be buried in the Philippines.
The national personnel records center house is located in Missouri, and lists all the names of the veterans who fought in WWII. Shaw hopes that once they can provide proof for every single Filipino veteran, they can finally become entitled to all the benefits that veterans enjoy today.
Services for Domingo Los Banos will be taking place this week at Mililani memorial, and at Our Lady of Good Counsel church in Pearl City. The burial will be private and for family only.