Chinese group to host discussion on Congressional Gold Medal for Filipino veterans

Retired Major General Antonio Taguba; Jersey City Council President Rolando Lavarro

Retired Major General Antonio Taguba; Jersey City Council President Rolando Lavarro

Issues relevant to Filipino Americans will be featured in the upcoming 43rd annual National Convention of the Organization of Chinese Americans – Asian Pacific American Advocates (OCA-APAA), at the Westin Jersey City Newport in Jersey City, from July 21-24.

“OCA is a leading organization that advocates for Asian American and Pacific Islanders, and I urge the Filipino American community to support a convention that highlights issues that impact our community,” said Jersey City Council President Rolando Lavarro, who is keynoting the event on July 22 at 5:30 p.m.

Retired Major General Antonio Taguba will lead a panel to discuss the Congressional Gold Medal for Filipino World War II veterans, which is scheduled Saturday, July 23, at 10:30 a.m. Taguba is the second Filipino American to be promoted to general officer rank in the U.S. Army. He authored the “Taguba Report,” an internal U.S. Army report on abuse of detainees held at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

The proposed Congressional Gold Medal seeks to obtain national recognition for Filipino World War II soldiers across the United States and Philippines for their wartime service. The workshop will discuss its objectives and to seek community support toward legislation.

“History and time have not been kind to the Filipino veterans and their families,” Taguba has said. “Their pride and honor have never wavered.” The legislation will at least “restore the optimism” of veterans who are in poor health and needing urgent medical care and who feel they have been abandoned by the U.S. government. He is confident the recognition will be approved by Congress.

“The Congressional Medal for FilAm vets is one of various important topics in the OCA convention that we should not only be familiar with, but be actively engaged in,” said Lavarro.

The theme of this year’s OCA convention is “Forging Ahead,” highlighting the new, positive direction that OCA is headed and the organization’s ongoing community advocacy work. Important discussions between policy experts and thought leaders will take place in workshops that cover many of the most important issues affecting the community, including fixing the nation’s broken immigration system. All workshops are free to attend for community members, and registration is not required. More information about convention schedule and topics can be found at

“I invite the community to attend the OCA convention, strengthen our ties and join discussions that are relevant to the Asian American community,” said Lavarro.

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