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July 6, 2000
H 22:51

Dear Boyet,


Life is full of disappointments as you will later discover, but let's take these disappointments as one of the factors of life and strive to look forward to the days when we can overcome them. My present disappointment is not being with you as you celebrate your birthday today.

You're a big boy now and certainly growing fast as what your Mom had told me in our phone conversation a week ago. She said that you're growing to be a strong and intelligent young man. Manang- mana sa Daddy. Words are not enough to express the pride that swells my heart at the thought of you on this day.

 

I am sorry for not being there though. As you know, our present circumstances are not my own volition, but rather brought about through the inability of mankind to follow the precepts of God or Allah and my constitutional duty as a soldier. I hope that what we do out here is right and will ensure that Peace in our country will be attained so that children like you can romp and play throughout each day without fear.

I know that your Mom will do her best to make your birthday a memorable one. I know that she will succeed and I salute her for that. She has been both mother and father to you for the past years and to all the time when I am not there because of the nature of my job and the duty that I have sworn to uphold to. I know that you have been a good boy and doing your share to make us both proud of you. Please continue to do so and soon I'll return to take up where I left off. That is, as your father and friend.
Today all my dreams and thoughts revolve around you and your Mom. I pray that the Lord will bless us with the fulfillment of our plans and
dreams.

I love you more than life itself and I know that in your own little way you feel the same way towards your Mom and I. Take care and be the man of our little family in my absence. Love and obey your Mom.

I trust that your 7th birthday meets your expectations and a successful one and I know that we will be all together to celebrate many many more of your future birthdays.

Take Care. God Bless.

Farewell until we meet again.

Love,

Dad

NOTE: The letter- writer a Marine officer died the next day in a clash with elements of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the vicinity of Camp Abubakar in Matanog, Maguindanao. His body and the rest of his comrades were recovered a month later.

Email: Scoutranger70@hotmail.com

Karangalan, Katungkulan, Kabayanihan

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The Soldiers Way

Come friends and gather around. Pass the beer and I tell you a tale about soldiers, fighting men and such...

 
It all started when I was seventeen and volunteered in the army. After I took and passed both the written and medical examinations, I was accepted for Basic Combat Training and brought to Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija.

 
In BCT, we were taught not only to learn and master the fine rudiments of soldiering like weapons training, escape and evasion, map reading, but also to be adept in history, code of ethics, military conduct and courtesy and many more.
 
I was introduced by the Drill Instructor (DI) to my new partner and buddy- the M-16A rifle as well as to the dictum of making the ultimate sacrifice as a soldier from the day we graduate to the day that we die.
 
The DI made our daily life like hell. Day-in and day-out, he is there constantly bullying and reminding us especially with the old cliches like-that the "army is not for the faint-hearted, it is the place where the angels feared to tread as well as the place to separate the men from the boys."
 
 
The DIs taught us everything about soldiering. We endured all the hardships and emerged as gentlemen and warriors.
 
Our unit is now fighting the Abu Sayyaf bandits in Basilan and many of my comrades in arms have already distinguished themselves as fine officers and gentlemen to the point of making the supreme and ultimate sacrifice of giving up their precious lives for the Filipino people and country.
 
And looking back to those nights in the barracks in the company of my buddies, I have no regrets in my decision to carve my own destiny- my way, our way, the soldiers way.
#091201

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A mature man; Actual size=180 pixels wide

First to fight...

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