Chandler’s Watch Blog has the story of how members of the Alaska Territorial Guard (forerunners of the Alaska National Guard) are being denied pensions for their service in World War II:
The story began years ago, but really didn’t start to gain the public’s attention until this past Friday when President Obama was asked about the ATG situation and the White House said it didn’t think it was “appropriate to establish a precedent of treating service performed by a state employee as active duty for purposes of the computation of retired pay.” There are a few problems with the response, the least of which is the fact that this would not be that precedent setting; the United States of America has already set that precedent by giving American veterans benefits to Filipino’s who had served with the Regular Philippine Scouts (RPS). In fact, Chandler’s Watch joined in that fight too; not because the service and bravery of the members of the Regular Philippine Scouts did not warrant what they were promised, not because they were not Americans, but because Congress was trying to cut the benefits of American World War II vets to pay the members of the Regular Philippine Scouts.
The RPS worked hand in hand with the Marines and Soldiers fighting to take back the Philippines from Japanese occupying forces and actually helped the Americans occupy the Japanese Islands for almost two years. The members of the RPS served and fought courageously and honorably alongside Americans and were promised by Congress back in 1946 that they would receive various veterans’ benefits just like American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. The promise was made by Congress and should have been honored from the day that it was made.
The members of the ATG may not have fought along side the Marines and Soldiers fighting in the Pacific Theater of Operations, but they did play a crucial role in America’s strategy to win World War II.
And a crucial role it was, indeed.
Recruiting began in earnest in 1942 and continued into 1943. By this time, Japanese troops controlled Attu and Kiska islands in the Aleutian Island chain off the coast of Alaska. These islands were part of the territory claimed by America and became significant in World War II history in that Attu and Kiska were the only U.S. lands occupied by a foreign force during the war.
The remaining American forces in the area, units of the Alaskan National Guard not moved elsewhere to fight, and the Alaska Territorial Guard, launched a massive attack of the island of Attu on May 11th, 1943. It only took them three weeks to repel the Japanese.
The primary invasion force of the Japanese retreated from Kiska on June 28th, 1943.
The Alaska Territorial Guard was under the command of the Alaska Defense Command and also assisted in moving equipment and supplies to the Russians during World War II.
There’s a LOT more at Chandler’s Watch Blog. Take a few minutes to read about it, and to find out how you can help right another injustice done to our veterans.
Or another thing to be annoyed at President Narcissist for; take your pick.