30-DAY BLOGGING CHALLENGE
DAY 15: A PERSON YOU ADMIRE
Before anything else, I’d like to commend myself for being able to keep up with this month-long blogging challenge. I’m half-way there, guys! So, anyway, for today’s theme, I must talk about a person that I admire. Well, I respect a lot of people for different reasons. It may be for their personality, their achievements or their outlook in life. I had to deliberate on my choices then I realized that I don’t talk much about my fiancé here in my website. Not that he’s not worth talking about, but perhaps it just makes me uncomfortable sounding too cheesy. Pun intended.
No, I won’t talk much about our love story. What I am about to share with you today has something to do with the nature of his job. First, let me give you a brief history on this regard. My fiancé is a soldier from the United States Army. Miggy (or Roan to most of his family and friends) is a Filipino by birth, but he’s been a resident of the state of Washington for years. It was in August 2007 when he enlisted in the Army and underwent Basic Combat Training at Fort Benning in Georgia. Upon completing his bootcamp training, he was stationed to Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. Miggy was a private under the 5-82FA Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
Miggy was deployed twice in Iraq. His first deployment was in June 2008 where their mission was called, Operation: Iraqi Freedom. They first stayed in Joint Base Balad, also known as Camp Anaconda, which is one of the largest United States military bases in Iraq during the Iraq war. They were also stationed at Camp Adder (also known as Tallil Air Base or Imam Ali Air Base) near Nasiriyah, Iraq. To support tactical operations, they moved to a forward operating base, FOB Hunter. It is where the Long Knife Brigade built its second FOB in the first few months of its deployment to Iraq. Initially, their deployment was supposed to last for 15 months; however, their tour was cut short by three months because of Barrack Obama’s presidency, thus Miggy was able to return to the US in June 2009.
In about a year or so since, Miggy and his fellow soldiers had to return to Iraq. It was his second tour. They thought they won’t leave until May 2011, but due to unforeseen circumstances, they had to switch schedule of deployment with another troop. On 15 September 2010, Miggy left for Operation: New Dawn. They were posted in Mosul, Iraq and FOB in Erbil, Kurdistan. Their tour lasted only 11 months, allowing them to return to the US in August 2011.
In the five years of service in the US Army, he’s been promoted a number of times, and received awards for his commendable performance. He’s earned a background in military fuel handling as one of his duties. He was a Petroleum Supply Specialist. In the US, a fuel handler might work on a pipeline, or maintain heavy equipment used for storage. In another capacity, a specialist could work in the transportation of fuel, or in a lab. Overseas, especially in a combat zone, a fuel handler must be able to refuel both ground transportation and aircraft, under hazardous conditions Fuel must also be stored and replenished in collapsible fuel tanks. In addition, fuel handlers must transport fuel to the end user as necessary.
Okay, so what makes Miggy worthy of this tribute? It’s simple. I have high regard to men who serve their nation. For whatever reason they may have, they chose to risk their lives in the welfare of their fellowmen. It is both acts of bravery and unselfishness to leave their loved ones behind, though unwillingly, not knowing if they will ever make it back in one piece.
Our relationship sprouted at the time of his first deployment in Iraq. Having in a long distance relationship, not to mention in our situation, was difficult. I had to wait for days when I can hear from him again. There were times when while we’re talking on the phone, we’d get disconnected only to find out later in the day that they had a situation. By situation, I mean they were on red alert. And by red alert, I mean mortars and rockets were flying over the heads. INSERT PANIC ATTACK HERE.
Today, as of writing, Miggy is working on leaving from service. His contract will end in January 2013, but he may be discharged in November this year. He’s been attending classes in preparation for their transition from military back to civilian lifestyle. I know this has always been a dream of his since he was a kid, so when asked what made him decide to leave, he said,
I’m done here. I’ve served my purpose. I want to start a family of my own soon. I want to see my wife every waking day, and watch my kids grow. I don’t want to miss out on the things that are most important in life. It’s time to move on.
This gets me every time. I respect him for his willingness to give up something in order to gain another. For most people, they will think of it as a bold move. He is completely aware of how much of an advantage he is about to surrender, but he chose me—he chose us—over these worldly things. This, perhaps, is the thing I admire about him the most.