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southern california families join Rep. Royce in honoring filipino WWII veterans
It was a great honor to join House and Senate leaders this past Wednesday in presenting the Congressional Gold Medal—the highest civilian honor the United States can bestow— to Filipino veterans of World War II.

What made this event extra special was hosting two Southern California families who attended the ceremony as surviving relatives of Filipino veterans of World War II. The family members included Dalmacio B. Calas—son of veteran Pedro Calas—and his wife Celia L. Calas, and Clarita Prepuse Quinto—daughter of veteran Marcos Prepuse—and her husband Alfred Quinto.
 (Pictured left to right) Dalmacio B. Calas--son of veteran Pedro Calas--and his wife Celia L. Calas, and Clarita Prepuse Quinto--daughter of veteran Marcos Prepuse--and her husband Alfred Quinto.

This unsung group of heroes fought courageously for the defense of our country during one of the most important periods of American history. Their valor and patriotism is deserving of the highest civilian recognition from the U.S. Congress.

Some of the most significant contributions made by these veterans came when our nation needed them most. In 1941, more than 250,000 Filipino soldiers responded to President Roosevelt’s call-to-arms to fight under the American flag. 16,000 Filipinos enlisted from in my home state of California, and subsequently the United States Army’s 1st and 2nd Filipino Infantry Regiments were organized in California. 

Under the command of General Douglas MacArthur, over 100,000 of these Filipino soldiers fought valiantly under the United States Army in the push to regain the Philippines from Imperial Japanese forces.

Rep. Royce joined House and Senate leaders Wednesday in presenting the Congressional Gold Medal in honor of Filipino veterans of World War II. 

57,000 courageous Filipinos in uniform died in the war effort. These soldiers were among those who gave their lives in the battles of Bataan and Corregidor in an effort that cannot be understated. Their resistance to the Japanese attack was absolutely instrumental in disrupting the enemy's advancement in the Pacific theater.

As President Harry Truman said of these Filipino soldiers, "They fought, as American nationals, under the American flag, and under the direction of our military leaders. They fought with gallantry and courage under the most difficult conditions."

The contributions of the Filipino World War II veterans are an important part of our American military history, and their accomplishments deserve the foremost recognition, a Congressional Gold Medal of Honor. To these brave veterans of World War II and their surviving family members, thank you for your service and sacrifice.  We honor your service by working towards a better world. 

Click on the picture below to watch my remarks from Wednesday's Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony honoring Filipino veterans of World War II.

As always, you can follow everything I am working on in California and Washington, D.C. through my website (http://royce.house.gov) on Twitter @RepEdRoyce, through Facebook at Rep. Ed Royce, or on Instagram at RepEdRoyce.

Representative Ed Royce