21 war survivors have died since August

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Speaker Tina Muna Barnes (PNC file photo)

Speaker Tina Muna Barnes has sent a letter to her colleagues informing them that 21 war survivors have already died since August without getting any war claims.

“Below you can find a list of survivors — members of our greatest generation — who have passed away since we last discussed Bill 181-35. Our Saina’s are fighting against time and it is imperative we do right by them,” the Speaker wrote.

She added: “We as a body continue to put the bill on pause because we want to discuss continued issues and concerns. But I want to say that our elders, our Sainas, our World War Two survivors; the greatest generation to ever live … do not have the time and as each day goes by, we’re going to see more and more of the greatest generation pass before us without getting what they rightfully deserve.”

The list provided by the Speaker shows 21 war survivors have died: 9 who passed in August and 11 passing just this month, while one remains undisclosed. The eldest war survivor passed at the age of 101 years old. The youngest war survivors named to have passed are 75 years old.

“I just want to say that it is very heart-wrenching and its very, very hard to say that each day that goes by is time that our elders do not have,” the Speaker said.

Speaker Barnes is hopeful that there will be an opportunity to discuss Bill 181 at the next session. Bill 181 seeks to compensate adjudicated war claims through the establishment of the 75th Guam War Claims Fund that will be administered by the Department of Administration — a fund that anticipates a $7.5 million transfer for war claims out of the general fund as authorized by Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero.

Meanwhile, on the national level, Congressman Michael San Nicolas’ H.R. 1365 is trying to address the language technicalities which prevents Guam’s manamko’ from accessing more than $20 million in the Guam World War II claims account.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.