It’s a nice feeling to be able to make a connection to the Bataan Campaign and the valor of the Fil-Am forces who bravely fought there in 1942. It can be from a visit to the campaign site, from reading about it or visiting various museums and memorials to the campaign and individuals who served and sacrificed there.
It can also come from personal connections, with family and/or friends related with a direct Bataan connection. In this example, the distinguished veteran and former Philippine Scout Amado Ante is the uncle of a friend and colleague from back in my military service days. When I saw this story I contacted her about it and she confirmed that it was a family member, her uncle. What a small world it is sometimes!
By the fifth day of the grueling and deadly march, Philippine Scout Amado Ante was afflicted by malaria and feet so badly swollen he couldn’t march. He and his comrades knew he would be killed if he did not march, so at an opportune moment they pushed him into a ditch along the way in which he then crawled beneath some bushes and kept quiet til dark. Local civilians found him and helped him get well, which took three months, after which he joined the guerilla forces until liberation in 1945.
Fast forward to 10 November 2017 when Amado Ante at age 99 was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, highest civilian award in the United States. An honor long overdue, nonetheless rendered, as we render a hand salute to Amado Ante for his service in World War II!
For the full story written by Public Affairs specialist Jeremy Profitt of the San Francisco VA Health Care System, see the VA blog site at: https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/43677/philippine-scout-army-veteran-shares-story-of-how-his-escape-from-bataan-death-march/