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Duty to Country Education Project Summary

Duty to Country is an interactive, web-based educational program free to the public that depicts the legacy of the Filipinos and Americans who fought in World War II in the Philippines and the decades long struggle for recognition that ensued. 

It features lesson plans, teaching activities, an online exhibition, oral history testimonies, profiles of key historical figures, animations, and illustrations that aid teachers and students interested in learning about the Filipino experience during World War II, American colonialism, and 20th Century social justice.

“We want the American public to know that there was another side to WWII.”

Major General Tony Taguba
Chairman of the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project

Teacher Resources

Designed for teachers in the classroom, these online educational resources include:

  • 10 Detailed Lesson Plans: The lesson plans incorporate primary and secondary sources and contextualize media and content from the Under One Flag exhibition and oral histories. 
  • 14 Explainer Activities: Explainer activities engage students directly with primary documents, archival photographs, oral histories, videos, profile cards and include maps and infographics. Lesson plans and activities are aligned with curriculum standards for ease-of-use.​
  • 30 cards of key figures from the colonial era to the present
  • 18 short animations based on the stories of veterans and activists
  • 19 rich and detailed Illustrations that depict key moments from the story
  • 3 Teacher Training Modules to help educators use Duty to Country in the classroom. 

Under One Flag

Under One Flag, the online exhibition, explores the untold story of two nations—the United States and the Philippines—fighting together under the U.S. Flag. Across a century of history, Under One Flag features first-hand accounts of living veterans, historians, and community advocates. It showcases archival photographs, films, and historical documents.

Oral Histories

With 25+ hours of video interviews, Duty to Country showcases a rich archive of compelling first-hand stories. The archive provides access to topic-based short compilations, highlight clips, full interviews and searchable transcripts. This timely effort captures stories told by the last of the living veterans of WWII, their families, activists and historians. Videos range from minute long highlight clips to full archival interviews.


Duty to Country Education Project Summary

Media Two-Pager

Educators Two-Pager

Talking Points


Ciriaco Ladines was 15 when he fought with the Guerrillas and commanded a squad. Ciriaco was interviewed for the FilVetREP project, and passed away in 2021. Credit: Night Kitchen Interactive


The congressional gold medal awarded to Filipino Veterans for their service during World War II. Credit: FilVetREP


3 members of USAFFE stand at attention. This image would serve as the basis for the Philippine Congressional Gold Medal. Credit: Library of Congress


Duty To Country is an online education project. It tells the story of Filipino World War II veterans and their advocates who, together, fought for decades for their rightful recognition and benefits from the U.S government. Credit: Night Kitchen Interactive


A female guerrilla and her squad shake hands with a U.S. soldier. Many women served in the Guerrillas, both in combat roles and leadership positions. Credit: US Signal Corps


A color poster featuring a USAFFE servicemen, designed in 1943 after the fall of Bataan. Thousands of copies of this poster were smuggled into the Philippines during the war. Credit: Office of Special Services, Commonwealth of the Philippines


Gerilino Bening, a guerrilla attached to Company B. Filipino 96th Infantry Regiment, Leyte, 1944. Credit: US Signal Corps


After the fall of Bataan, thousands of USAFFE soldiers, American and Filipino, died on the brutal death march to the prison camps. Credit: Aria Villafranca, Night Kitchen Interactive


Protestors on the steps of the United States Capitol advocating for equity for Filipino Veterans. During another protest, Veterans chained themselves to the White House gates. Credit: Eric Lachica


Demanding equity and justice. Filipino WWII Veterans demonstrate in front of the Veterans Memorial building in San Francisco, California. Credit: Rick Rocamora




“This is a really important story of veterans and how their rights were denied, but also of how they fought to gain them back.”

“Illustrations and animations [are] great for students who learn best through art and creative expression.”

“The rich content of the curriculum tackles some of the biggest questions in world and U.S. history – war, empire, colonization, military service, racism, immigration, civil rights, and fight for racial justice.”

Project Bios

Major General Tony Taguba

Major General Tony Taguba is Chairman of the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project. He is also President, TDLS Consulting LLC, which provides business consulting services to small companies – disabled veteran owned and economically disadvantaged. He is the Chairman, Pan Pacific American Leaders and Mentors (PPALM).

Born in Manila, Philippines, MG Taguba was commissioned as an Armor officer following his graduation from Idaho State University in 1972. He served in numerous command and staff positions from platoon to General Officer level. His numerous military awards include the Army Distinguished Service Medal (2 awards), the Legion of Merit (4 awards), the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (6 awards), the Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge, and the Army Staff Identification Badge

Marie C. Blanco

Ms. Marie C. Blanco worked for the late U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye for 34 years. Her legislative issue areas included agriculture, banking, budget, business, energy, finance, insurance, and taxes. Ms. Blanco is a strong advocate for the Filipino veterans of World War II. She successfully and tirelessly worked on legislative measures that recognized the sacrifice, service, and contributions made by these veterans in defense of our nation.

Two most notable measures that became public law granted naturalization to approximately 25,000 Filipino World War II veterans, and provided a one-time benefit payment to over 18,000 Filipino World War II veterans.In May 2013, she formed MCB Consulting, LLC, a government relations consulting company based in Falls Church, Virginia.

Jon Melegrito

A son of a Filipino World War II veteran, Jon Melegrito is a founding member and former executive director of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA). Melegrito was co-chair of the National Alliance for Filipino Veterans Equity (NAFVE) and has served in various advisory boards. A journalist by profession, Melegrito retired in 2012 from the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME), where he worked as a publications specialist in the Communications Department.He currently writes for the Philippine Inquirer (, Positively Filipino, Pinoy Newsmagazine, and Manila Mail.

Matthew Fisher

Matthew Fisher is principal and founder of Night Kitchen Interactive, where he has produced interpretative and educational experiences for arts, cultural heritage, and science organizations since 1997. Matthew is passionate about the transformative power of interactive storytelling and participatory engagement and speaks on these topics at museum conferences and universities regularly.


Duty to Country was awarded:

  • AAM Media & Technology MUSE’s Silver Award in the category of Online Experience
  • Muse Creative’s Gold Award in the categories of Education and Activism
  • MuseWeb GLAMi’s Silver Award
  • Horizon Interactive’s Gold Award