Vice President Raynold Oilouch said he hopes the United States will take seriously the call of the Pacific Veterans to establish an office in their respective island nations where they could have easy access to benefits entitled to them after serving the United States military.
“This is an on-going issue. I hope the US would take this matter seriously because after all, our people, had served in the US military,” Oilouch told the press during a press conference on August 14.
Oilouch said that it is only fitting that the US would establish a Veterans office in Palau where Palauan Veterans can access more benefits.
United-States affiliated Pacific islands had previously issued a resolution outlining the need for equitable access to quality healthcare services for Pacific veterans who served in the United States Armed Forces.
The resolution, which was signed by the leaders of the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI), Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) during the 24th Micronesian Islands’ Forum (MIF) held in Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) on July 11, endorsed a request to the US government to conduct assessment of the needs and issues faced by Pacific veterans.
Access to US Veterans benefits and services in the Pacific had long been the clamor of the people and leaders from the region. The resolution pointed out that US veterans residing in the Freely Associated States (FAS) have no access to Veterans Affairs (VA) services in their respective homelands and had to travel to the US mainland, Guam, Hawaii, and the CNMI just to avail of the services. (By Rhealyn C. Pojas and Kerdeu Uong)