Thankful and heartbroken in Suffolk

Published 1:11 pm Wednesday, November 27, 2013

By Chris Quilpa

On this special occasion, Thanksgiving Day, I am so grateful to be alive, with my family, to be living in the United States, and to have proudly served honorably in the U.S. armed forces.

Thank God for all who have helped me become a veteran of the U.S. Navy, trying to enjoy my life and freedom, one day at a time. Thanks to a lot of people who have helped me realize my dreams.

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I thank God for all relief workers, volunteers, nations, and charitable and religious organizations around the world that continue to extend financial and logistical support to the typhoon-ravaged central Philippines, especially in Tacloban, Leyte. Thank you to the volunteers, emergency and relief workers who have been generously sharing their resources, knowledge, skills and expertise in the Philippines, where super typhoon Haiyan slammed the central Philippines on Nov. 8, killing more than 5,000 and displacing millions of people.

And I want to especially thank the men and women of the U.S. military deployed in the Philippines, who are doing a tremendous job in assisting the rebuilding efforts. Their generous spirit is commendable. Keep up the great work, shipmates!

As I have watched the footage of the typhoon and the destruction it left behind in the Philippines, I feel sad and heartbroken for the people there, and I keep remembering the time I spent in the northern Philippines in my younger days.

I distinctly remember when I, my family and other families in the neighborhood had to seek shelter for days in a nearby church while a strong typhoon pounded our homes. There was no food and no water, just the clothes we had, and they were wet. It was such a harrowing experience, one that I won’t ever forget.

But there’s life, after all. And I’m so grateful to God and to those who shared the time with me there and helped us through it.

Finally, I am thankful to the Suffolk News-Herald for being a voice of reason and enlightenment for all of us. Thank you all for what you do, covering and reporting the news, every day.

God bless you all, and God bless America.

Chris A. Quilpa is a U.S. Navy veteran. He keeps a blog at onebuddingpoet/