Army wives share fear and pride as husbands return from Marawi battle

MANILA, Philippines — Army wives are the “silent ranks” to which Jingjing Blanco, Karen Solayao, Ana Joy Derilo, Dorothy Baluis belongs.

Though they are not the ones who go to the battlefield, they are the ones who stand by their husbands, holding forth, supporting and inspiring them while the soldiers are away on duty. Being a wife of a soldier they said, they know very well what it feels like to be on the frontline.

“Yung takot syempre nando’n po kasi araw araw laman ng balita yung gulo doon. Tapos pag mag-uusap kami, pag tumatawag siya naririnig namin yung sabog. Tapos yung putukan po natatakot kami at nalulungkot din (The fear, of course, is there because news of the war dominate the headlines everyday. And when we talk on the phone, we could hear the explosions. It frightens and saddens us),” said Jingjing Blanco.

“Okay na sakin yung okay ka. Mag-text ka na ‘Okay lang kami’, kasi mas nakakakaba yung hindi ka magtext sa maghapon tapos baka mamaya may magtext na lang na iba (It’s fine with me as long as you’re okay. Just text, ‘We’re okay,’ because its more worrisome not hearing from you all day. What if suddenly someone else would be texting on your behalf),” said Karen Solayao.

They said that they learned to respect their husband’s profession and the challenges, the demands, the good and even the bad consequences of serving in the military.

“Lagi kong iniisip yung sinabi niya na kahit nasaan ka kung oras mo na, oras mo na. Kaya pinapalakas ko na lang loob ko. Tanggap po namin na ang kanilang isang paa ay nasa hukay na yung isa (I always think back on his words that when it’s your time to go, it’s time to go. That’s why I toughen myself up. We have accepted that [soldiers] always have one foot in the grave) ,” said Ana Joy Derilo.

“Sabi niya bakit ka umiiyak? Kaya mo yan. Sabagay sa isip-isip ko lang hindi lang naman ako ang asawa na mapupunta sa Marawi yung asawa marami rin naman kami (He asked me, ‘Why are you crying? You can handle this.’ It made me think that I’m not the only wife whose husband is going to Marawi. There are many of us) ,” said Dorothy Baluis.

Now that their husbands are home, no one is even prouder than all of the military spouses of the government troopers who battled and won the war in Marawi City.

In last Friday’s heroes’ welcome ceremony, the Philippine Army expressed gratitude to the families of the brave soldiers.

“You have sacrificed a lot everytime our heroes are deployed to do their duties. That’s why I would like to thank all of you for your understanding and prayers for our heroes,” said Philippine Army Commanding General MGen. Rolando Joselito Mendoza.

Meanwhile, Malacañang assured the soldiers that President Rodrigo Duterte will make good on his promise to send them to Hongkong for a vacation.

According to Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar and some firms from the private sector have already vowed to help the president to fulfill his promise. He added that a private airline company has even vowed to provide a free flight to Hongkong for the soldiers. —Marje Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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