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100-year-old Filipino-American veteran dies

Silverio Cuaresma, the 100-year-old Army veteran who urged the Department of Veterans Affairs to compensate Filipino-American veterans for their service in the Philippines during World War II, died Sunday, according to Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev.

In a news release Monday, Heller described Cuaresma, of Las Vegas, as “an example of American heroism.”

“As one of the World War II Mighty Five Nevadans, Mr. Cuaresma fought tirelessly to secure recognition for this nation’s nearly 24,000 Filipino World War II veterans,” Heller said. “We have a moral obligation to continue the fight to ensure that Filipino veterans, like Mr. Cuaresma, are honored for their sacrifices.”

A former Philippine guerrilla intelligence officer, 2nd Lt. Cuaresma served under U.S. Army Col. Edwin Ramsey, leader of the 26th Cavalry who made the famous last horse charge in U.S. history on Jan. 16, 1942.

Cuaresma died without the compensation of up to $15,000 each for him and 24,000 Philippine-American veterans whose claims have been denied because the VA doesn’t recognize their service records. About 10,000 live in the United States and 14,000 are in the Philippines.

Contact reporter Keith Rogers at krogers@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0308.

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