Larry L. Pangan, my Grandfather, WWII & Korean War Veteran, my 1st example of an honorable warrior who protects and provides.
Grandpa was a badass on all levels, sometimes to a fault.
Who’s 2 blame him when he watched his comrades die next 2 him during close quarters combats, battle after battle, wondering why he was spared by God (survivor’s guilt), while being a statistical war anomaly to almost certain death/catastrophic injury.
He became a prisoner of war, subjected to physical & psychological torture & trauma, surviving the Bataan Death March in the Philippines where anybody who fell were shot on the spot. Starving on a bowl of rice/day, thirsty, bug infested, he was infected by malaria & other malnutrition symptoms, nearly becoming just skin & bones.
Miraculously, he and his buddy manage to escape past the Japanese soldiers into the jungle, where they sought refuge from local farmers. After nursing back to health, he went back to fight again?!!
When the Japanese Imperial surrendered after the atomic bombs were dropped, he was later granted citizenship to the United States for his Philippines Scout service supporting the US Military.
My grandfather suffered from occasional nightmares. Never spoke in details about the war, only amongst his close veteran friends. No one really knew about PTSD symptoms then, or even Traumatic Brain Injuries, or how to treat these.
He was a skinny Filipino version of Clint Eastwood. His presence & eyes scared men twice his size.
He had a prodigal work ethic, working many jobs to support his wife and 9 children, while active in his community and garden.
He & my grandmother took my mom, sister and I in when we had no home after my father left us behind.
The only time I saw my Grandpa cry was at my Grandma’s funeral. He showed his love through his actions not affection, typical of men of his generation. He showed tough love while my grandmother showed unconditional love.
I am forever grateful for my grandfather and all veteran warriors that dedicated and sacrificed their lives against those that threaten our inalienable human rights and freedom.