Many of us take our freedom for granted – while there are thousands of soldiers and uniformed personnel across the country who regularly put their lives on the line just to ensure we are safe. In honor of these soldiers, President Rodrigo Duterte hosted a banquet at the Malacañang Palace on National Heroes Day.
The president dined with dozens of soldiers who were wounded in action. Among the highlights of the banquet was a speech by a soldier who lost both his eyes in battle.
Lieutenant Jerome Jacuba spoke about how he felt depressed while he lay there at the hospital for 4 months, thinking how he will never be able to see his kids again. His life might have been spared but he could never watch his kids dance or see their drawings or live a normal life again.
He had almost given up on life but the president personally visited them at the hospital – and that had been one of the reasons why he regained courage and will to live again. He now studies a computer course for the blind. Moreover, thanks to the president’s visit, his story had gone viral and he has received a lot of financial and moral support from various individuals and groups.
“Until the last drop of our blood, we will fight under your leadership. We will die serving the country because we have seen the sincerity of our president. It is an honor to serve under your leadership,” Jacuba ended his speech with a direct message to the president.
In answer, the president said, “…I will reinvent you from being a soldier to a soldier without sight but still functional.”