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Commissioner Regalado Baldonado

Commissioner Regalado Baldonado

Veterans Affairs Commission, City & County of San Francisco.

“We are mostly all gone now.”

Manong Baldonado’s response to me after I asked him where all the Filipino veterans were at the Memorial Day services in the Presidio. He mentioned there were a few that live in Daly City but they are fewer of them now.

During World War II, over 250,000 Filipino men joined the U.S. Armed Forces to help fight against the Japanese. They fought, died, survived and were injured just like their American counterparts but were denied the benefits given to all U.S. veterans when on February 18, 1946 Congress and President Truman passed and signed the Rescission Act of 1946.

Numerous bills and amendments were proposed, died and put aside since 1993 until January 17, 2008 when President Bush signed the Filipino Veterans Fairness Act. Of the 250,000 veterans, 18,000 were alive to take advantage of the benefit they should have received 42 years ago.

Hasselblad 500 c/m with Kodak TMAX 100 developed in TMAX.

6 comments to “Commissioner Regalado Baldonado”

  1. I wonder how their treatment is compared with the Vietnamese veterans who fought side by side with the Americans during the Vietnam war?

  2. this story and image reminds me of the film I watched recently about the African contingent that fought alongside the French during World War II – exact same story – only it took the French a little longer than Truman to do the right thing.

  3. So depressing how many of them died waiting. Beautiful portrait BTW.

  4. Superbe portrait et respect pour les vétérans ! I love it !

    Olivier Rault
  5. Un magnifique portrait très intense. Un mot me vient à l’esprit: RESPECT !

    Kevin P.
  6. This picture reminds me of my uncle who passed away two years ago. He resettled in SFO as he was able to obtain his citizenship because of his status as a veteran of the Second World War. For some reason, he had preferred to resettle in the US away from his children in the Philippines. I remember visiting him in 2001 and he would always go to the Union Square to meet with the other Manongs and talk to each other. For me, the years he spent in the US was a personal sacrifice he made so that he would not burden his children back home.

    R. Bucud

Comments are appreciated