This is a long delayed blog. I promised myself that I will only write about my classmate's death once I have processed everything and that I have made perfect sense on why things had to happen the way it did. I want that when I finally write about my classmate, those who will read will give my classmate the true honor and respect he deserved paying the ultimate sacrifice dying for this country. I also hope that those of us who are still fighting will have reinvigorated spirits believing that our cause is more than our own personal fear and discomfort. This is a tribute to the life of the late 2LT Jeffrey Domingo, who died fighting for this country.
I was already in the bus heading back to Sarangani where I am posted when I received a text message from one of the many soldiers that I have handled. He was expressing his condolences to us. I felt that I had to somehow give him good words and so I did. I told him that we should do our jobs well, apply our training because it will make our lives longer. As the text messages continued to exchange between the two of us, I realized that I was trying to be strong. I was trying my best to believe in the words that I was saying to my soldier. I was afraid.
In most cases when we learn about people dying, we always say that it was unexpected. In my case, I realize now that my classmate's death was not actually unexpected. No matter how I try to convince myself otherwise, the truth remains that the moment we became soldiers we have become aware that death may occur anytime. More than that, I realized that the life that we live each day is already a blessing in itself while I try my best to do my job.
My classmate, in his happy demeanor was in most cases someone who wanted the best for the people that he cared for. Soldiery has somehow made an image of us being uncaring and insensitive but in his case, his actions speak of the kind of man he is which has added to the sorrow and grief of his death. And I think that has become true to everyone in soldiery. I think that in most cases that people see us, they forget that deep inside we are no different from anyone only that we have embraced a profession that entailed more than what other professions ask. He was a man who wanted a good life just like the rest of the world.
In so doing, we have found ourselves in places that we have never dreamed we can go to. We have done things that we thought before we will never be able to do. Met a variety of people and in the process discovered ourselves. Adventure never seems to cease as each day is filled with surprises. Each surprise leave a lasting impression in our lives. These stories become part of the larger reason why we stay in our profession.
I guess, I will never really be able to explain why things had to happen. Why death has to come this early. But in the few moments that I was in that bus going back to where the action is, it was the moment when I was just so certain that I was where I was supposed to be. I remembered texting my father saying: "Daddy, ganito pala pag namamatayan ka na ng classmate, naiisip mo na yung pagsusundalo pala hindi lang basta naglalakad sa bundok at naghahanap ng kalaban." In those brief instances, I was reassured that the life that I chose was the one that defined the kind of person that I am.
Yes, we celebrate life each day even beyond death because it is the only way to honor those who have died fighting for our cause. We continue fighting because we will never accept defeat more so when much has already been given up. We go on because just like the rest of the world we want a good life.
I do not know if I have made sense but I write anyway. I am not even sure if I have been true to the original goal of this write-up. But just the same, I want to put out the contents of my heart. I pray that when we have our few moments, we take time to pray for the soldiers that fight for this country.
I love you people