- Holidays and Celebrations
War Veterans: A Salute
No one forgets
A Personal Journey
My grandfather was a war veteran of World War II. They defended the Philippines side by side with the Americans when the Japanese Imperial Army invaded the country. He even experienced the Death March that left thousand veterans dead on the road. It wasn’t until1945 that the Philippines was liberated from the hands of Japanese army when General Douglas McArthur came back along US and Filipino servicemen.
My grandfather died already not enjoying the fruits of his struggle as a war veteran. He didn’t enjoy the benefits, as in medication and pensions, of a Philippine war veteran because an important signature was missing on his documents. Ironically, those who were just assistants to the veterans and falsified their documents were already receiving such benefits. Even my uncle, who supposed to be following up his pension application died two years ago.
Anyway, without money involved, I was told by my grandfather about the stories of war, especially during World War II and the Korean War. He said that the country suffered a lot from the ‘puppet government’ established by the Japanese army. People can’t even buy enough food from the market even though they had a lot of Japanese yen or money. They called it the “Mickey Mouse” money.
Then Liberation Army came. The Philippine government is restructuring its system into Commonwealth through the help of the United States of America.
Many wars have been fought: Korean War, Vietnam War, Cold War then recently the Gulf War I and II.
Americans, and the Allied Forces ( British, French, including Filipinos) fought these wars. They’ve won most of them but lost some…the men and the war.
This coming November, all roads lead to the American soil and every nation who participated for the celebration of these heroes. Veterans, like my grandfather, living or dead are being honored for their unselfish and unrelenting service to bring peace to the world.
As a reservist and an individual, it is an honor to pay homage to their heroic deeds.