HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Life moves at a slower pace now for Retired U.S. Army Private Aniceto Bagley, but the memories of his time serving the United States as a Filipino Scout during World War II are still vivid.
Bagley is part of a special group of veterans known as the "Forgotten Soldiers of World War II".
The "Forgotten Soldiers" are the focus of a documentary released in 2012. A showing of the documentary will be hosted by the the U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum in Huntsville on Friday. The "Forgotten Soldiers" are credited with being responsible for preventing the Japanese invasion of Australia and other victories against Japan representing the U.S., but as their name suggests, they were pushed to the side and forgotten about when they tried to officially become American citizens.
"At the beginning of the war we were promised U.S. citizenship and all the benefits of a U.S. Army serviceman, however, at the end of the war there was a recession that hit and the U.S. government reneged on all their promises to the Filipinos," Bagley explained.
Bagley is one of the few Filipino scouts still alive today, and he says to be able to share his story in the documentary is a great honor and it's also a chance to relive his glory days.
"We did our part and we feel that we did a great deal for the United States effort. Maybe we didn't have to because we weren't U.S. citizens, we were Filipinos, but at the time we thought we were just as much American as the Americans were," Bagley said.
Bagley did finally get his well-deserved U.S. citizenship in 1949. He was one of 50 out of more than 2,000 Filipino Scouts allowed to immigrate to the United States. He moved to Huntsville in 1974 when the Army stationed him at Redstone Arsenal.
If you'd like to watch the 'Forgotten Soldiers' documentary you can do so Friday at 7 o'clock at the Veterans Memorial Museum in Huntsville.