God bless our veterans, God bless America
Thursday, 09 November 2017
By Chaplain (Capt.) Bernardino Yebra
Special to GUIDON

Let us thank all  veterans as we, once again, prepare to celebrate Veterans Day.

I was born a Filipino, and grew up hearing stories of American heroism during World War II.

My great grandfather fought alongside the Americans who assisted the Philippine guerillas in defeating the invaders. He spoke with great respect and gratitude for the Soldiers who bravely sacrificed to free people of a different culture. As Americans, we continue to serve God and country wherever wars take us, to keep not only America, but those nations who need our assistance free from tyranny and terrorism.
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Yebra

I’ll always remember a young Afghanistan boy asking me to stay, saying: “Please don’t leave us, the (expletives) Taliban will take over again, we need you.”

I am obviously an American now, and so proud to be one. I believe we have a special calling in this troubled world to continue the role of freedom-loving people willing to aid other nations in their quest for what we have. Veterans Day will always be a significant holiday for me; a special day to honor those, living and dead, who have served this great nation.

When I was a child, I associated Americans with Spiderman and Superman. I understood Americans as people who were so committed to their ideals, that they would do whatever was required to preserve them, and would fight whatever threatened their way of life. I have learned I was not alone in this impression. There are still people around the world who have this image of Americans.

I was recently privileged to administer final sacraments to a World War II veteran.

I was able to personally thank this beloved Soldier for being a part of liberating the country of my birth. I thank God for giving me the opportunity to be in this great country, to serve as so many before us have served.

Let us commemorate 2017 Veterans Day with gratitude. God bless all our American veterans, God bless our men and women in uniform, and God bless America.

(Editor’s note:  Yebra is the 84th  Chemical Battalion chaplain.)