Patrick Ganio Sr., 83, is a Filipino
World War II veteran and a retired educator. He is one of the remaining defenders in the epic battles in Bataan and Corregidor.
Captured and taken as a prisoner of war after the fall of Corregidor on
May 6, 1942, Ganio survived the infamous O'Donnell concentration camp at Capas, Tarlac. He later joined the USAFFE
Philippine guerrillas as 1st lieutenant, was wounded in battle and received a Purple Heart. After the war, he was a Major
in the Philippine Army Reserves.
Ganio completed his university education at the National University
and the University of the Philippines that took him into teaching. After 30 years of public service, he retired from the Nueva
Ecija University of Science and Technology (Central Luzon Polytechnic College) as a math and science professor. He received
the "Outstanding Professor Award" from the college in 1980.
In 1980s, Ganio emigrated to Washington DC. He did extensive research in
the National Archives and Library of Congress on the claims of Filipino WWII veterans for US benefits. He later submitted
a position paper to President Corazon Aquino's government that led to the creation of the Veterans Affairs Office under
Ambassador Nick Jimenez in the Philippine Embassy in 1986.
He organized the Filipino War Veterans, Inc. and founded the
Filipino Veterans Families Foundation, Inc.. With several key veteran leaders, Ganio lobbied on Capitol Hill for the
passage of the naturalization bill for his comrades. In November 1990, President George H.W. Bush invited him to be the sole
Filipino veteran to witness the signing of the Immigration Naturalization Act in the White House.
In 1995, Ganio continued to fight for full veterans' benefits under the
G.I. Bill of Rights as president of the American Coalition for Filipino Veterans, Inc., an Arlington-based advocacy organization
that campaigned for veterans' equity.
In 1996, he presided over the campaign that passed the House-Senate
resolution, H.C.R. 191 "recognizing and honoring" Filipino veterans and witnessed President Clinton's proclamation signing
in October 1996.
In 1998, Ganio testified in the House Veterans' Affairs Committee hearings for Benefits for Filipino
Veterans in 1998. The ACFV coalition and allied groups obtained 208 co-sponsors for the Equity bill, H.R. 836.
he presided over the successful campaign for the "Special Benefits for WWII Veterans," now Public Law 106-169 Title VIII.
It allowed Filipino American veterans to return to their families in the Philippines with their Supplemental Security Income
in 1999. Budget estimate: $12 Million per year.
In 2000, Ganio presided over the campaign for the "Filipino
Veterans Benefit Improvement Act," now P.L. 106-377, Sec. 501 and burial benefits in P.L.106-419, Sec. 332 in 2000. Budget:
$6 Million per year.
In 2002, he successfully lobbied to restore the $500,000 US medical annual Grant-in-Aid to
the Philippine Government's Veterans Medical Center.
In 2003, Ganio advocated successfully for passage the
"Health Care for Filipino Veterans" bill, now P.L. 108-170 that was signed into law by President George W. Bush. VA budget:
$16 Million annually for 8,000 US-based Filipino veterans. On May 19, 2003, President Bush invited Ganio to attend the
State Dinner in the White House in honor of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
In 2003, Ganio advocated for the "Full Compensation"
benefit now in Public Law 108-183 that provided VA compensation for war-related illnesses of Filipino New Scouts and widows.
Budget: $2.9 Million yearly.
For his accomplishments, Ganio was awarded the "Recognition of Merit" from
the Veterans Federation of the Philippines of Col. Emmanuel De Ocampo in 1987; the "Twenty Outstanding Filipino Americans"
from the Fil-Am Image Magazine in 1991; and the "Amity Award" from the American Legion during their convention in 2002.
Ganio now resides in Jacksonville, FL with his wife Nieves. He has
six children from an earlier marriage.