(File Photo)

President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr (File Photo)

Veterans of The United States Armed Forces in Palau have incorporated themselves into a non-profit association following a signing of their charter yesterday by President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. and witnessed by United States Ambassador to Republic of Palau, Ambassador Amy Hyatt.

The veterans consist of both Palauan citizen veterans and US citizen veterans from all branches of US Armed Forces.  Present at the signing were Norbert Yano (Army), Greg Ngirmang (Army), Joe Ngiramur (Army), David Mendoza (Marine Corp.), Dennis Waylen (Army), Clarence Masayos (Marines), Cliff Terry (Army), Meleuis Ngirmechaet (Army) and Indira Recheked(Army).

President Remengesau jr. noted that Palau has many veterans from various US Armed Forces, including notable figures such as High Chief Reklai Rafael Ngirmang, High Chief Ibedul Yutaka Gibbons and Senator Camsek Chin among others in government and private sector.

Greg Ngirmang, the elected president of U.S. Armed Forces Veteran Association of Palau (USAFVAP), expressed that one of the main reasons for incorporating is to work to find ways to bring earned benefits and services to the growing population of U.S. Armed Forces veterans in Palau.  Mr. Greg Ngirmang himself served 21 years in the U.S. Army.

The youngest and only female member of the association, Ms. Indira Recheked, served for four years in U.S. Army.  Many of the veterans served over 20 years in the U.S. Armed Forces.

“Many of the Palauans that serve or have served in the U.S. Armed Forces have expressed desire to return home after retirement.  And not only Palauans, many U.S. citizens and veterans have also made Palau their home and they seek the services and benefits that U.S. veterans are entitled to but is not available here in Palau,” stated President Remengesau.

He added that Palau has the greatest percentage of its citizens represented in the U.S. Armed Forces compared to all the States and territories of the United States, adding that many are planning to return home after their service.

U.S. Ambassador Amy Wyatt expressed her gratitude saying that the establishment of such entity will enable the U.S. Embassy to fulfill one of its missions, and that is to assist U.S. Veterans.

“We are very grateful to have this association established …and to have this association we will be able to find out the needs of the veterans in this community ,”  expressed Ambassador Wyatt.

The group announced that U.S. Army Veterans Benefits Counselor will be at PCC Assembly Hall at 6pm this Thursday night to help explain veteran benefits to veterans here and help them file claims. (L.N. Reklai)