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The following information
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Letter to Congressman John Garamendi Seeking to Request Sponsorship of Amendment to HR 2598 for the Inclusion of the WW11
POWs from the Philippines
Dear Cong. Garamendi:
Sir, during this solemn occasion
when we, Americans publicly honor the service and sacrifice of our military, allow me to plead with you to sponsor an
amendment to HR 2598 introduced by Cong Martin Heinrich of New Mexico on May 21, 2009. HR 2598 seeks to award
the Congressional Gold Medal to WW11 U.S. military personnel from the United States. Excluded in the bill
were those WW11 U.S. military personnel from the Philippines.
Undoubtedly, HR 2598 as currently
written is unconstitutional
for treating soldiers who are similarly situated (same U.S. command, same POW camp, same
fate-and that is dying) not in similar manner, by awarding medals to those who came from the U.S. and excluding those who came from the
Philippines. As we all know, equity is rooted in conscience. This is the fundamental belief that every soldiers
had fought for all of us. Most important, legislative bills when crafted and before they are passed into Public Laws
must be based on equity
Amending HR 2598 is not an economic issue of additional cost to
the U.S. government since only one gold
medal will be awarded collectively & symbolically to all recipients. Duplicate bronze medals will be sold after the entire
cost has been factored into a specified sale price. Therefore, it would even be a brilliant marketing strategy to have more
recipients in order to generate a robust sale. The adage, the more the merrier holds true in this situation. Incidentally,
the profit shall be deposited in favor of the U.S. Mint Public Enterprise Fund.
Amending HR 2598 is not prohibited because
of the citizenship, nationality or domicile of recipients, since these has
never been issues in the past and the Medal has been granted to many individuals of various citizenship, nationality &
Since May 27, 2009 I had communicated
my concerns to Cong Heinrich via e-mails and phone calls that were validated by his office staff as received.
Cong. Heinrich has been silent as to the cause of the exclusion of the Filipino veterans
Therefore, in honor of those who
perished, the survivors, the departed, many dying with war wounds that never healed because of the bitterness of the inequity,
I plead with you to kindly respond in the affirmative that you will file an amendment to include the soldiers from the Philippines
in HR 2598 . Never should we forget again to whom we all owe the freedom that we all enjoy today.
Your honor, my deepest gratitude
to you and your staff.
Maria Elizabeth Embry
Antioch Ca 94509
November 11, 2009 Veterans’
An Open e- letter to
the Honorable Representative Martin Heinrich of New Mexico
Open e- letter to the Honorable Representative Martin Heinrich of New Mexico
Request to Amend H.R.2598 to Include the U. S. military personnel from
the Philippines in granting of the Congressional Gold Medal to the WW11
Bataan, Corregidor and Luzon POWs
1505 Longworth HOB
My name is Maria Elizabeth Embry from Antioch California,
I respectfully call your attention to H.R. 2598 which you had introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on May 21, 2009, to grant a Congressional
Gold Medal to the American military personnel who fought in defense of Bataan/Corregidor/Luzon between December 7, 1941 and May 6, 1942.
Allow me to respectfully inform your Honor, that
as a passionate advocate for the U.S. Armed Forces personnel of Filipino descent, that I am deeply troubled about the irreconcilable
conflict in the language used in H.R. 2598. If you may recall American military personnel
include those who are natives of the Philippines,
as well as those who were drafted or who had enlisted in the Philippines in the U.S. Armed Forces
before and during WW11 and subsequently fought in defense of Bataan/Corregidor/Luzon
between December 7, 1941 and May 6, 1942
However, your Congressional Findings
Section 2(a) of H.R. 2598, defined the intended recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal, to quote “Award Authorized….in honor of the soldiers from the United States who were prisoners of war at Bataan/Corregidor/Luzon…in recognition of their personal sacrifice and service to their country”
Sir, I am respectfully requesting that the exclusionary
provision be amended to include all members of the U.S. Armed Forces who were prisoners of war at Bataan/ Corregidor/Luzon
without taking into consideration their place of nativity and domicile, as well as their race and citizenship since none of
these were considered when they were drafted or when they enlisted.
The Congressional Findings Section 1 (7) of H.R.
2598 stated the following: “within the first 40 days at Camp
O'Donnell, 1,600 more prisoners from the United States died. Missing are the significant
statistics for the prisoners of war from the Philippines.
Your Honor, according to the Office of the U.S. Provost Marshall General Report on American Prisoners of War interned by the Japanese in the
Philippines dated November 19, 1945 “about 1500 American and 22,000
Filipino prisoners of war died at Camp O’Donnell from starvation, disease and the brutal treatment received at the
hands of the captors.” This same report further stated that, “from 10 Apr 1942 to 5 May 1942 (6 weeks) nearly
1600 Americans and 26,768 Filipinos died from lack of quinine and food, (although)
the Japanese Army had plenty of food and medicine on hand.
Sir, honoring only those who suffered further captivity
is to diminish the role of those who were paroled, but nonetheless suffered the same and sometimes actually worse fate than
the military personnel you are honoring exclusively.
With all due respect to your Honor, allow me to
remind you of the following facts:
The U. S. WW11 Bataan POW from the Philippines,
although paroled, continued fighting to victory an unwinnable war against all odds sans military equipment, organization and
They fought the ravages of malnutrition, war related
illnesses, exposure to further arrests and endangerment to their person, family and friends.
They lost their homes that became shells of abode
destroyed equally by enemy and friendly fires.
They helped rescue the POWs, that not for the courage
of rescuers the likelihood of not finding a single soul to save among them is a real possibility given the known propensity
of the enemy soldiers.
They reenlisted to help clean up postwar Okinawa
and other places, maintained peace and order, rebuilt and saved United
States numerous territorial possessions from anarchy and further devastations.
They came back from war not to the accolades but
to the resounding rejection from the U.S. Congress that their wartime service was deemed not to have been a service to the
United States military and as a consequence suffered the indignity and humiliation of being excluded by a nation
regarded in the whole world for her democratic principles.
They embarked patiently on a 63 year journey thru
numerous U.S. courts and congressional
floors to fight for the recognition, with the steadfast support of legislators like the Hon. Inouye,
Akaka, Filner, Honda and many others who incidentally include many of the co sponsors of H.R.
They watched many of their comrades die with their
military service unrecognized, excluded from education, health care and housing benefits enjoyed by their comrades from other
nationalities and later they were not allowed burial with military honors in military burial grounds.
Sir, the WW11 U.S. military
personnel from the Philippines suffered
all these and many more unspeakable indignities.
Although, I would like to say that I trust your
good judgment, however, I would like to respectfully caution your Honor not to go in the same path taken by your predecessors
in Congress who fashioned the two infamous Rescission Acts of 1946 in deliberately excluding
the Filipino WW11 U.S. veterans from the honor they deserved as a matter of law and conscience. Let there be no more divisions
among the military personnel who had honorably served United States
cause. Why perpetuate the inequity? Why not render justice now, since we are fortunate enough to find these remaining
valiant Filipino WW11 U.S. veterans still with us?
I would appreciate a written response from your
Honor regarding these issues.
Maria Elizabeth Embry
Antioch Ca 94509
copy provided to
Speaker Nancy Pelosi
all co-sponsors of H.R.2598
RE: H.R. 2598 POWs @ Bataan introduced by Rep
Tuesday, June 9, 2009 8:46 AM
Dear Mr. Sandoval,
Sir, thank you so much for your kind response. I am confident that when Congressman
Heinrich realizes the implication of the exclusionary provision of H.R. 2598, that he will amend the bill.
I became hopeful after reading what Congressman Heinrich had
written, to quote:
"When my father was just a boy, his parents fled Nazi Germany and immigrated to the United States. The older I get the more I realize how much that
history shaped my dad's world view and informed the values he and my mother taught me. At an early age, I gained a real appreciation
for our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, and our civil liberties. In my family, patriotism wasn't just
about how high you could fly the flag, but rather how effectively
you could live up to the democratic ideals that our flag and our country represent" MY
STORY, OUR LIBERTIES by Martin
Please give my personal message to Rep Heinrich that the
U.S. flag is flying high and proud today, only because the POWs
from the United States including the POWs from the Philippines serve United States cause in the hallowed grounds
of Bataan, Corregidor
My sincere gratitude to your kind attention to this matter.
RE: H.R. 2598 POWs @ Bataan introduced by Rep Martin Heinrich
Monday, June 8, 2009 11:52 AM
"Sandoval, Antonio" <Antonio.Sandoval@mail.house.gov>
you for the e-mail, Ms.Embry.
will pass this information along to the Congressman. I will keep posted of any developments.
Antonio E. Sandoval
Martin Heinrich (NM-01)
20 First Plaza
Albuquerque, NM 87102
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