Todos Saludos

When it comes to MEN of action, I’ve been given more than my fair share of friends who are exactly this. Some of my dearest friends are my husband’s classmates at the PMA. Our closest friends for decades now.

I don’t always agree with their views and they know this—and they don’t always agree with mine—and I know this. But so far the respect and admiration is real from both our ends. I’m the kinda-leftist-kinda-socialist-UP-makibaka wife of their beloved mistah.

And when I got appointed, they were the ones who sat me down and gave me the orientation I most needed, Public Service 101—because this is their field of expertise—selfless service to country. And when I go around the country, they watch over me. I touch base with them (“I’m here in your ‘hood. FYI.” And they reply and I’m good.)

They’re why I have a terrible disdain for men who like to talk big and yet do absolutely nothing to help our country except pound away at their keyboards in the comfort of their homes and then come away feeling like they’ve contributed something of value.

Yung kuda nang kuda sa Facebook na para bang army general pero actually, nakakansonsilyo sha sa bahay tapos habang pinagmumura nya ang Pangulo at ang mga desisyon nya para sa Sandatahan natin, nagkakamot sha ng pwet nya sabay tayo para kumuha ng Coke at Boy Bawang sa kusina because, damn, napagod sha don ha.

I am a scoffer but with these armchair pontificators, I reserve the biggest, scoffiest scoffs and the most disdainful disdain I can muster.

To me, they are as useless as socks with holes so huge, they’re more holes than socks. My respect for them hangs by a thread.

And I feel and think all that because I am surrounded by men who not only walk the talk. In fact, they hardly talk. But have given to country in ways none of us are asked to in our whole lifetime.

Without questioning, they pack their bags and go where they are ordered to go and leave the comfort of their homes and love of their families for country. Not for personal gain but so we all sleep better at night, secure that there are men and women out there watching over us .

And they do this in a course of a lifetime.

They do know that somewhere in the fine print, what they signed up for is that they are to give their all–that their very lives are part of what they must sacrifice if it gets to that point.

And a lot of them have. Willingly. For no other reason than because they love this messy, crazy, beautiful country of ours.

And because my life is intertwined with my husband and his mistahs, I’ve had to bury some of the bravest men I know. And I’ve had to hold hands with their widows and their orphans. And I’ve had to travel some miles with them, bereft of the strong presence of their padre de familia.

And YES there are corrupt PMAers who enrich themselves at the expense of the people they’re supposed to serve but I firmly believe, those bastards are in the minority.

Majority have remained true to vows they took when they entered the Academy.

Sounds corny but it’s true. Courage and duty and love for country are so deeply embedded in their fiber that it’s not something they even think about anymore. It has become second nature to them. This is the language they speak—and they do all that without any fanfare or need for applause.

And I love that this President gets it about the men and women in uniform. I love that, finally, we have a president who respects them in very real ways. Oh the stories I’ve heard of the hundred and one ways our President shows his deep appreciation and respect for our soldiers.

How, for instance, Edna Sobejana, wife of medal of valor awardee of their class (Class 87 has 3 valor awardees and we all bask in reflected glory haha) wanted to have her photo taken with the President and her husband was dissuading her. They are a most unassuming couple. Sobra kasimple.

But she would have none of it. And as the Pres approached her area, she ran to him and said, “Mr Pres, may I have my photo taken with you? I am the wife of Gen Sobejana.” And the President stopped dead in his tracks, looked her in the eye and held her hand and made that little bow of his that is his signature and said, “Ma’am, I should be the one wanting to have my picture with you. It is an honor to meet the wife of one of our valiant soldiers.”

So yes, this is one of those reasons PMAers deeply and support this president. The feeling is mutual. (Not all of course. For instance, the soldier who has never seen any real action but loves to yak, Trillanes.)

It is such a blessed relief to me that I finally had the good sense to unfriend some of the biggest, noisiest blowhards who have nothing to show for the time they’ve spent on earth but their yabang Facebook posts. I got HUGE headaches when reading their posts because my eyebrows would be wayyyy up in the stratosphere.

Such shameless, useless bastards.

I love, however, that they’ve made me all the more grateful that I’ve had the dumb luck to be surrounded with men who love country the way my friends do.

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