After our travels, we visited a important bridge over the Cabu river. During WWII, it was blown up by Filipino Guerillas during the raid on Cabanatuan. This act significantly impacted the final outcome of the raid, as it allowed the U.S. Rangers enough time to save all the Prisoners of War that were held in the camp at Cabanatuan. A short distance away we stopped to visit this camp where the POWs were set free. Three of the veterans on our trip spent time here. The veterans recollected many memories from this sight. They were also able to find their former comrades in the names listed on the wall honoring those who died at the camp.
Because of the distance we traveled today, we were able to hear many stories from our veteran, Warren "Jorgy" Jorgenson. He was in the 4th Marines and was stationed in China during WWII. He was then shipped to Corregidor where he was shot and captured by the Japanese. He was prisoner of war for three years, and shared many stories of the conditions he faced while at the POW. camps. Even though he has been through so much, his boisterous personality and positive outlook on life would never hint at his haunting past. He is grateful for this opportunity and his sincerity is unquestionable.
The opportunity to travel with such an amazing man who did so much for our country is truly inspirational. Whether we're eating Filipino fast food or sharing stories from back home, the bond we share with "Jorgy" is already special and unique. Thus far, this trip has been a tremendous learning experience, and the first hand accounts of the veterans, who sacrificed so much, are what has made it so special.
Today we recognize the sacrifice Jesus made for our lives through the crucifixion, as well as celebrating and learning about the veterans who modeled this behavior by giving their lives for our freedom.
Nathan Hartsell and JoHannah Fields