Submitted by AFPAO on Thu, 08/08/2019 - 10:29

“A true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength, but the strength of his heart.”

At 10 o’clock in the morning of July 27, 2019, Hornet flight received a phone call informing that the government troops are having a firefight encounter with the members of New People’s Army. The encounter took place at the thickly-vegetated mountains of Magsaysay, Misamis Oriental. An undetermined number of casualties on the enemy side and two wounded-in-action personnel from the government side (one of which was in critical condition) were reported. Five minutes after the phone call, while the firefight was still ongoing, the Hornet flight, composed of two UH-1Hs, took off from their stationhoping to save the lives of the two comrades. 

The danger is at hand, the helicopter could become a target paper for the enemies, but a gamble was made. With close crew coordination, the flight proceeded. A mission brief was conducted in-flight as the mission needs to be executed the soonest. As the Hornet Flight came closer to the landing zone, the fear of being targeted was not anymore a hindrance. However, fear became a vital thing as the aircrew converted into a safety line. As somebody once said, “Basta marunong ka pang matakot, mabubuhay ka.” With the expertise of the aircrew, the flight was able to extricate the wounded personnel. It was a relief on the part of the aircrew. Heroes were saved and their children will still be able to see their fathers. 

The flight landed safely at the staging point where the ambulance was waiting. Hornet Flight terminated the mission after saving the lives of our heroes. Unfortunately, however, while on the way to the hospital, one of the wounded soldiers died. The aircrew felt the cold in their bodies with the sudden gust of wind. A good man who has the heart to serve the country, a man whose earnings came from his own taxes and the people’s had exchanged everything in full. He offered his life and yet the sun will still set in the West, hoping to end the ideologies of New People’s Army. Nevertheless, whatever it may cost, the Armed Forces of the Philippines will not leave its guard to ensure that there would always be peace and security in the communities. Moreover, it will not close the doors to all communist-terrorist group members who want to surrender to the government and change their lives by helping in building a nation that prioritizes the general welfare of the people.

Photo courtesy of 205th THW