Sun. Dec 8th, 2019

Lawmaker urges for establishment of US veteran’s affairs office in Palau

A lawmaker introduced a resolution to the senate to urge President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. to ask the United States government to establish a local office of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs here.

Senator Regis Akitaya introduced the move to the senate last January with an aim to localize access to US Veterans benefits here for veterans who chose to stay in thecountry after serving the US military.

The resolution, which was referred to the senate committee on foreign affairs and state matters, stated that veterans residing in Palau lack direct assistance from the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs due to the country’s “geographic isolation from any offices or subsidiaries of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.”

The resolution stated that although veterans are entitled to a number of benefits provided by the US government, obtaining these can be “burdensome” for those who are residing in Palau.

“It is necessary that the government of the United States of America extend medical treatment to these veterans who have sacrificed so dearly in the cause of freedom,” the resolution read.

In a committee report, the senate committee on foreign affairs and state matters, which is chaired by Senator Aric Nakamura, also recommended the adoption of the amended version of the resolution, saying that these veterans are entitled to a number of government benefits provided by the US. It stated that there are numerous veterans currently residing in Palau that do not have access to the benefits.

“Numerous Palauans continue to enlist in the military, however some of them, upon exiting the military have opted to reside in the United States where such veteran services are accessible,” the senate committee report read. (By Rhealyn C. Pojas)