Thursday, December 27, 2012

Bronze Cross Medal for typhoon heroes

 At around 10:00am today (Dec 27, 2012), the Army honored the soldiers of Charlie Company, 66th Infantry Battalion, for their acts of bravery and display of heroism during the onslaught of typhoon 'Pablo' in Andap, New Bataan, Compostela Valley province early this month. Four of them were confined at the AFP Medical Center including Pfc Albert Fuyonan, 2nd Lt Jose Enrico Nuas, Pvt Ryan Magno and 1st Lt Alex Marvin Deazeta (left to right).

In this photo, Lt Gen Emmanuel Bautista congratulates Pfc Albert Fuyonan after pinning the Bronze Cross Medal on his chest. He was credited for saving a pregnant woman and her 4-yr old daughter when they were all swept away by the rampaging floods. Unmindful of his own injuries, he swam with the hapless victims towards safety.

2nd Lt Enrico Nuas, a member of PMA Class 2012, is a newcomer in the unit. He did not expect that the tragedy which struck the community where he was assigned, became an opportunity for him to show his selfless dedication to duty. He joined his Company Commander, 1st Lt Alex Marvin Deazeta, a member of PMA Class 2007, in transporting trapped residents towards safer grounds. The sudden surge of floodwaters engulfed the whole village, including the multipurpose hall which they thought was the safe refuge for all of them. All rescuers ended up victims themselves as they were all swept away together with the people they were trying to save.

I salute the exceptional bravery of these officers. I told them that they don't really have to experience bloody battles in order to be emerge as heroes. They are ordinary people who did extraordinary acts during extraordinary circumstances.

I saw misty-eyed media practioners who covered the event. The individual story of each soldier is quite emotional. I am very proud of them, including the 17 others who are confined in Davao City. For showing their selfless sacrifices during the typhoon, they are now showered with many blessings.

** Photos are taken by Ms Gale Bitarra/OACPA

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