OK, I have had enough of this male bovine fecal matter!
It was fine when Pinoy lady I admire and respect, complained that I “painted too rosy a picture of life in the Philippines”. She said there was an ugly side to life here and I was not being honest. I admitted there is an “ugly” side to life no matter where you live but that I felt that the ugly aspects of life in the Philippines have been exaggerated. I went on to explain that as a guest in this country it was not my place to criticize my host. If she wanted to see the ugly side of life here she had only to read the rest of the newspaper. While she is a critic, I admire and respect her forthrightness and courage to speak her mind to my face.
It was fine when a South African challenged me to write something “intelligent”. I pointed out I have written about the unhealthy aspects of public urination. I have written about teaching and ethics. I even gave my views on local traffic. While he was never specific in what was or was not “intelligent”, his honesty was refreshing.
It began to bother me when my best friend for over 30 years, a man I had served with in the Green Berets, accused me of being an anti-American. He said people were saying I was “bashing America”. His concern was that I was alienating the foreigners here and making enemies. During the discussion, I found out he had never even read one of my articles. I offered him my copies to read. If he found just one incident where I had “bashed Americans”, told one untruth or even distorted the truth; I would publish an apology and a retraction. He backed off and said, “truth did not matter”, I was hurting America’s image and creating enemies. I pointed that there are hundreds of thousands of Pinoys living and working in America. Did he really think there was any negative aspect to the American lifestyle that the Philippine people did not already know? As a writer I need credibility. How can I expect the reader to believe anything I say if I am not honest about my own country?
If you have read my column you will note I never criticize other countries. I will vaguely refer to “some other Asian country” or a “prominent European country”, but I avoid naming them. It is true; I only name my own country. Am I being “anti-American” or just honest? Do I hate America? Do I even have a right to criticize my own country?
While many of my critics were watching television in the comfort and safety of their home, I was loading the body of my demo man into a MedEvac helicopter watching little red bubbles form as he tried to breathe through the mess that was once his face. While they were swimming in their backyard pool, I was pulling 12 dead soldiers off the bottom of the Saigon River. While they were decorating their Christmas tree, I was pulling pieces of nine of my men out of trees after the bomb went off. While they were laying around getting a sun tan in backyard, I was crawling in the Grenadian mud with 50 cal. bullets bouncing off the rocks. I put my life on the line for America more than once. That is more than most of my critics can say. I think I paid my dues. I earned, with my blood, the right to say what I want about My America. I am as proud of my country as any Pinoy is of the Philippines. I am an American. I am an HONEST and proud American.
The source of most of these false rumors of my being anti-American probaby originated from one critic. At first I tried to ignore his backstabbing foul mouth. He did not have the courage to face me but prefers to talk about me when I am not around. I even spoke well of him to others. I refused to be drawn into some childish squabble. I did not mind his attempt to enlist others to “teach me a lesson”. The implication being he and others would “punish” me. Son, I am 67 years old. I have a back broken in two places and both my knees are damaged. I got all this from serving my country, something you never did. If you and your friends decide to carry out your threat be sure to pack a lunch. You are going to have a long days work.
He does not have the gonads to face me but he is brave enough to approach my wife with this petty little vendetta. Let me make this clear to you. I know things about you others do not know. I know the ugliness you try to hide. Trust me, you do not want to continue this one sided war.; BACK OFF.
You can continue your anti-Pinoy rants. I won’t even tell you to shut up and sit down, as I should. Eventually some Filipino will put a stop to your ugly diatribe; but this vendetta stops here. You will leave me and my wife out of your conversations. Unlike you, I do have the cajones to face you. You do not want a war with me. I will beat you with the TRUTH not lies. You are NOT my Everyday Hero.