For the past 33 years, I have been into a lot of trials, challenges and sacrifices.
When I got wounded in combat, I thought it was the end of my career. Instead, it even strengthened my will to fight.
I thought soldiery was only about being assigned at critical areas in Mindanao, such as Jolo, Basilan, Davao Oriental, Bukidnon and South Cotabato. Well, late in my career, I also experienced assignments in Cagayan de Oro and Cotabato cities.
Trials are part of soldier’s life. Failure to pass these trials could lead to endless frustrations.
Actually soldiery is a difficult profession. We save lives and protect the people from harm and yet, we let our lives always at risk.
Some friends told me that our pay is not worth our lives. But my mind keeps telling me that the honor the service gives me everyday is also something that money can’t pay.
Challenges keep a soldier moving. Addressing these challenges squarely leads to maturity in the service.
In training, we experienced the worst and learned how to survive. We were made to believe in the old saying, “we sweat blood and tears in training so that we can live in battles.”
When I stepped in the battlefield, I knew everything would change. I was forced by circumstances to leave my parents, relatives and friends. The irony was, I became close to people whom I do not even have any blood relation.
Sacrifices are the cost of soldier’s success. It is like an investment, the profit will come later.
After all these years, I can always humbly say that I live my life to the fullest in the service.
Trials brought me in many places of our country where so few had been.
Challenges helped me solved the puzzles of what life is all about.
Sacrifices gave strength that kept me alive.
And the most important thing is, I am happy. #
(The subject, 55 and a native of Rosales, Pangasinan, holds the rank of staff sergeant and is assigned at Headquarters, Headquarters Service Battalion of the Philippine Army’s 6th Infantry (Kampilan) Division. He is happily married with three children and has already been staying in Mindanao for the past 32 years.)