This week ABS-CBN reports something about payment for our Filipino war veterans and it struck me a bit. I’m not an expert nor have I followed every development regarding this issue, however, I’ve heard about it already in the past and I’m troubled every time this news reaches me.
Like every other Filipinos, I knew one person who was a veteran of the World War II—my lolo Jose. When I was a kid, and even until now, the thought of him fighting in the front lines during the war always makes me proud. I used to brag about him while I was in grade school as if I was the only one with a veteran grandfather in the class. That admiration grew more when I became mature enough to understand further what it takes to be in a war, be able to survive it and more importantly, win it. So needless to say, I remember him every time I see living bemedalled veterans on TV.
But despite my compassion for these aged, wrinkled and frail Filipino veterans, whom we all consider as heroes, I always would wonder why others are demanding payment for services during the war. What I find more irritating and disappointing is that some won’t even accept the lump sum coming from the recently approved stimulus plan by the new US President Obama just because they think that they deserve more in the form of a monthly pension. I’ve also read somewhere that the reason why some of our veterans are so intent on being paid is because it was promised to them during the war—thus, they defended the nation and helped the Americans in the process. But isn’t it the same as what mercenaries do? Or isn’t this simply implying that their valor is for sale?
I would like to think that I’m misinformed here, and am willing to stand corrected if someone can shed light why our veterans deserve to be given a pension by the US. But then again I’m just basing my opinion on what I’ve been hearing and reading from the news. So either I’m plainly wrong or some individuals or groups are exploiting our veterans’ situation just to make money out of it. I’m just hoping (and would like to believe) though that what the tri-media are trying to relay here isn’t the collective stand of our beloved lolos (and lolas) who really dedicated their own lives in true service of our country and its allies even without being paid–and that to me is a real hero worth bragging for.
Rest in peace, lolo.
Photo credit: CheriGaulke’s Flickr
Mood: 3/10 Honks!