Guam war claims may go unfulfilled - again - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Guam war claims may go unfulfilled - again

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - The issue of whether Guam's war survivors will be getting their long-awaited compensation from Uncle Sam this year may not happen yet again. And at least one lawmaker feels the delay in the process is another tactic being done to avoid from having to pay what is owed to the island.  

The latest version of Guam's war reparations contained in the Defense Authorization Act has been held up in the Senate. It's an issue republican Senator Frank Blas Jr. says local leaders up to now have received no word on. "None what so ever we can only continue to hope that the U.S. Government fulfills its moral obligation - that it has to what I consider is the greatest generation that has ever lived on Guam," he explained.

The delay comes as a result of the inclusion of a provision repealing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Last year, Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo said there was a need for more education before Guam could be considered for reparations. However, Sen. Blas says they've had more than enough time to learn, adding, "They've had 30 years since its been in Congress; they've had 67 years since the end of the war and in that timeframe they've paid claims to others nations, to other people.

"Just very recently they paid claims to American citizens who were intimidated by the Sudan Hosan regime based on intimidation and fear the U.S. ordered the Iraqi government to pay the claims to them. Well, what about our people?"  He added, "I think this whole notion that they have to be educated - they know I think again you have the democratic leadership they have the House, the have the Senate they have the presidency what about their promises. This is the one timed that the stars are aligned for them and what have they done for Guam, what have they done for our survivors?"

Delegate Bordallo states that it is important to note that the Guam war claims provision is in the House version of bill. She adds that she has been working earnestly with her colleagues in both the House and Senate to ensure that war claims are included in the final defense measure. She added she will continue to work to try to have the full version of H.R. 44 included and hopes the Obama Administration and the Department of Defense weigh in to Senate leaders with their views on the importance of this bill to the success of the military buildup on Guam.

"If that doesn't pass, then what of the number of things that are suppose to happen on Guam?" Blas questioned.

The senator also feels this may be some sort of delay tactic from the Senate, as there are more and more survivors passing away.

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