American veteran joins Leyte Gulf landings commemoration
by Gemma Tabao
Tacloban City (21 October) -- A very dedicated American veteran was among the spectators of the annual Leyte Gulf Landings celebration held at the McArthur Park in Palo, Leyte yesterday.
Gilbert Andrews, 61 and a retired medical technologist by profession, came alone all the way from the United States just to witness the 65th anniversary of the return of General Douglas McArthur and his company to Leyte.
According to him, the occasion is a great opportunity to pay homage to the Filipino veterans, who offered their heroic sacrifices in saving the lives of the Filipino people, together with the brave American soldiers.
Mr. Andrews is a member of the American Legion 336 of San Antonio, Texas, USA, one of the veterans' organizations in the U.S. He has been a war veteran during the Vietnam Era.
The American veteran was also in Leyte some five years ago, also to observe the same commemorative event. According to him, he finds the Filipinos gracious and full of inspirations, and he loves being with them, especially the WWII veterans.
"Being with the Filipino World War II veterans reminds me of my memories as a war veteran, which for me is an immeasurable service to my country and my fellowmen." Andrews also considers the celebration as a venue for gaining more friends in the country, and knowing more of the Filipino culture and tradition.
As part of his visit, Mr. Andrews brought with him some videos on the different historic wars of the Pacific, which he will be donating to the University of the Philippines in the city, as part of the students' learning references. (PIA 8) [top]