MANILA, Dec. 23, 2012—While most families reunite to spend the Christmas and New Year holidays together, at least 157 officers and enlisted personnel of the Philippine Navy will have to spend the yearend occasion away from their family after recently being deployed to serve as part of the Philippine peacekeeping contingent to Haiti.
According to Fr. Ferdinand Abuyuan, chaplain of the Army Support Command (ASCom), separation of military personnel from their families due to deployment abroad or within the country but away from their hometowns usually takes three to eight months and the length of parting degrades the morale of the servicemen.
This is why Abuyuan urged the faithful and the families of the servicemen to pray for them.
“Communication is very easy nowadays. You can either call or chat online. But more than communicating, pray for them, for spiritual communion,” he added.
Abuyuan said the challenge to care for their deployed husbands or wives is greater for those who are left behind.
“They have to strengthen their faith and relationships,” he said.
The chaplain admitted that when deployed, some servicemen develop illicit relationship among themselves, which is why there are chaplains that are also deployed together with the contingents and at camps.
“If there is no chaplain, there would be nobody to counsel and guide them. The chaplain is somebody they can turn to for moral and spiritual support especially as they need it very much while deployed,” Abuyuan added.
Abuyuan lauded the efforts of women who bring their children to their husband’s camps to spend the holidays together. Citing his experience at Camp Abat, Manaoag, Pangasinan, he said the routine helps make the servicemen make up for the lost time with their children. (KB/CBCPNews)