From what emanated to have appeared like a silent drill, our attention was commandingly called. It’s just that, it wasn’t a drill yet our attention was rather manifested in silence. A bad news had us stunned. “Sarge” is gone.
In his desire to be a soldier, he has ever since conditioned himself to fit into that calling. Going through military training would have been less of a challenge but a fulfillment. Making it as a full-pledged soldier would have been an honor. However, akin to an insurgency, his dream revolted into his family’s nightmare. Just about to graduate, death from hazing would seem to be his final capping.
At the wake, calm and as composed, his father shared good memories of his son. It’s the second time they have lost him. When “Sarge” or “Ipong” to his family was still a baby, her mother tearfully handed his outwardly lifeless body to his father. The thought of having lost him from a convulsion brought agonizing sorrow. Even with no signs of life, still hopeful of a miracle, his father drenched his body with ice water and pumped his chest. Hope opened through young Ipong’s eyes as it conceived new life.
On that fateful Saturday though, Sarge’s father wasn’t there to have at least tried all means to revive his son. As a soldier himself, he is keen on battling it out to gain justice. Not through his hands though but by way of a tactical action as what a true soldier should carry out.
If there are victims here, it’s the perpetrators of Sarge’s demise. Their feeble minds were further wronged with poor values. They were in a position they didn’t deserve. They are, in the first place, unbecoming of men in uniform. If with their rage if not insanity can’t even assure the safety of even one of their own, more so, they don’t deserve to serve the country.
Remembering Josephus “Sarge” dela Rosa, as a staff together with his colleagues, proved to be a reliable team man. As an individual, he was focused on delivering what is expected of him still for the good of the team. We nicknamed him Sarge for his wholeheartedness on becoming a soldier complementing his being snappy.
Up to his death, indeed the snappy soldier that he was and with his second life has once again infused hope in paving for a stop to hazing. If such be the case, he did not die in vain. His battle is yet to be fought but he has already proven his worth as a soldier in fighting for a right. He is saluted.
After all, he was Sarge and he is an honorable soldier.