War claims applicants encouraged to get paperwork in now - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

War claims applicants encouraged to get paperwork in now

Posted: Jun 18, 2018 4:56 PM Updated:

2,000 applications and counting - as the deadline to file war claims is fast approaching, Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo encouraging all eligible survivors or their family members to apply.

It's been 73 years since World War II came to an end. The wound still fresh in the eyes of survivors. Nesita Sabrina Ada Lizama now 90years old recorded her oral history while filing for war claims at the University of Guam back in December. She remembers being only 14 during the occupation of Guam.

She said, "We were in Mannengon Camp no food, water hardly any, people are drowning hungry, crying, name it. We suffered a lot."

It's been a long time coming. Congresswoman Bordallo says the effort to pass legislation was not met without challenges, including the struggle to allow family members to file for their loved survivors who died early on, before the Bill was passed on December 23, 2016. She said, "However, there was strong objection in the Senate for including this category, but I fought hard to keep it."

Meaning eligible candidates are only living survivors, a spouse, child, or parent of loved ones killed during the war, or family members of recently deceased survivors who passed on after the law was set in motion in December 2016. Bordallo's only regret that more survivors won't be alive to see the day, as she said, "My only hope is we could have it earlier that is my only upsetting feeling, so many have passed on since we started."

Bordallo added, "I think this is recognition for those that survived the war and of course closure. You know, we've been talking about this like I said my predecessors who worked on this, it's been 70 years that's a long time and our people have been very patient."

All war claims must be postmarked by this Wednesday, June 20th. The Congresswoman's local office is open from 8am to 7pm Tuesday to help those filing.

Bordallo expects it will take time to review the over 2,000 applications, the first decision she hopes will be made as early as August.

 

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