Thursday, April 5, 2012

Day 2 - A Promise Fulfilled

Wayne Carringer is a man of great integrity and character.  This is not only evident in his own life, but is a quality that is contagious to those he surrounds himself with. This infectious integrity speaks volumes to this man that we now call our friend, and we are truly honored to be paired with him. From the moment we met Mr. Carringer, just two days ago, we realized that he had a valuable story to tell, and we are thankful that he is willing to share it. Quickly we learned about how Mr. Carringer was drafted and served in the Army Air Corps. He ended up in the Philippines, where he served on the front lines during WWII. After walking in the Bataan Death March, he became a prisoner of war, eventually being sent to Japan.

It amazes us how much he knows about the war - not just from his own experience but from his research as well. His memory is astounding as he recalls the names and events relating to the war. We look forward to the upcoming days as we grow in our friendship and learn more about this incredible man.

The first day in Manila is now behind us, but it laid the foundation for the rest of the trip as we toured the diverse city. It was interesting to hear the veterans tell about how much the city had changed since the war, but some landmarks still remained.

St. Thomas University, which was used as an internment camp by the Japanese during World War II, was our first visit. The veterans quickly recalled stories and memories from this area. Every student eagerly listened and began to grow in their knowledge as the veterans opened up.

We realized that these were the moments that we have waited so patiently for. These stories cannot be found in textbooks, but only from the first hand accounts of these amazing men.

After we left the university, we found ourselves walking down the streets, meandering through the people and their shops, in search of the Manila city jail. This jail housed POWs during WWII and was a stopping point for nearly every POW in the Philippines. Through our time in this area, our eyes were opened to the unique culture of Manila.

Our visit to the Manila Memorial Cemetery quickly turned our minds back to those who had given their lives for our freedom. This memorial was a humbling experience for everyone in the group, as several of the veterans had friends whose names were listed among the fallen here. While at the memorial, the College of the Ozarks students laid a wreath in honor of the veterans who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

While at the Cemetery, our group was able to fulfill a promise to a veteran who traveled with C of O students nearly two years ago. That veteran had asked for a simple favor. He said, "If you ever take students and veterans to the Philippines, will you honor my friend by finding his grave and taking a picture for me?" His friend, Mr. Edgar O. Anthony, died while serving in the U.S. Marines during the battle at Iwo Jima. Today we fulfilled the promise, honoring Mr. Anthony by placing a special wreath at his grave and taking a picture for his dear friend.

Though we have just completed the first day, we can already truly say that we are honored to be here and to have this experience with these incredible men. We look forward to the days to come, and to the stories and wisdom they bring.

Daniel Mallette and Christianne Martin


  1. This is too cool..... What a great college and wonderful students. Thank you for letting us jouney with you from home for the memorable event.

  2. So, so proud of you, lil sis!! I'm thrilled to know that your whole life is being changed by a sweet veteran. :) I cannot wait to hear your stories and get to know Wayne through you!

  3. I am so thankful that my son is getting to experience this life changing event. I look forward every day to learn more about your experience and learn more about the wonderful veterans that are accompanying you. I can't wait to hear all about the trip and all the experiences you had. Thank you to all the Veterans for sharing with all of us and our children.

  4. First I want to say thank you to all the WWII Philippines and America Veterans If tit was not for many of the Filipino people -many more American servicemen would have died many risked their lives helping our service members with food medicine shelter hiding them from the Japanese.

    The students on this tour enjoy the stories from these veterans there are not many men left from this time of when really the world was in peril. These brave men and women from the Allied countries gave everything like no time before or no time sense and may never be a time like then again.

    I am proud of the students who are on this tour and will enjoy reading their stories they share My Farther was a WWII Veteran and I am so proud of him and every service member of the Allied Nations.

    Ken Moore ST Pete, Florida USA

  5. Though my father was a veteran of WWII, I have no affiliation in any way with vets of the Bataan Death March and it's aftermath (camp O'Donell, the Hell Ships, Japanese imprisonment, etc.), I grew very interested in their experiences when I picked up a book about ten years ago written by a survivor (now deceased) by the name of Manny Lawton ...."Some Survived". I could never understand how this part of WWII history never really came to the fore until recent years. There are many, many other books I have read and continue to read about these experiences -- great tragedy but emphasizes how great it is to be an American.....Home of the Brave, indeed....these guys lived it, proved it !
    Judy Langdale, Copiague LI, NY