Posts Tagged With: Bataan Death March

The 2nd Wife

My Father

After all the acknowledgement from relatives that I have never met and friends that had gather for my Fathers’ departure.  Its’ good to know that what he work for was not forgotten.  General MacArthur said  “Old Soldiers never die; they just fade away. And after 34 years in the military  like  General MacArthur.  He fade away his military career and start his life as a civilian.

You see I remember growing up with my father when he was in the military.  I never understood him.  It didn’t help when I’m growing up being influence by the Beatles and Woodstock.  And him fighting in Vietnam coming home to see me with long hair embracing the PEACE Movement and not supporting what he was fighting for.  If the shoe is turned around and  knowing a little about his career in the military. I would feel devastated to see one of my family against what I’m was fighting for.

We join our father in Forth Bragg NC in 1958.  Were he was assigned after coming back hone from the DMZ zone in Korea.  No sooner was he with us.  When he got the called to join the fighting in The Vietnam War. It is fortunate for us we have our Mother (Connie short for Conception) who raised us when father is fighting overseas.


I remember Mother have to work two sometimes three jobs to supplement my Fathers income. She work very hard depriving herself of personal luxury so we can attend College to improve our status in life. She was so happy when four of us completed College. She never complain. Even saddled with hard work. She has time to start the first Filipino Society in Fayetteville, NC. Thru hard times and good times Mother was there. She created wealth for my Father and introduce him to the civilian life which she know will come when he leaves the Service.  She made it all possible for my Father to enjoy the benefit of her hard work. When my mother past away. My father was so devastated. I remember him saying that he was suppose to go first. Maybe that has change my father’s behavior. It was later in his life after my Mothers past away that he say, “Don’t Worry be Happy” and also re-married to Florinda (Linda) second wife. Who do not know what my Father was like when the Family was growing up.


  The 5 Children:


Ele and Friend

Me and Rudy
























So after reading the Fayetteville Observer that read: (with their Permission granted)

After experiencing the dark evil of war, Jesus Rabano decidedto love life. Rabano, a retired Army master sergeant, died Sunday and was buried Thursday. He was 94.

Rabano survived the Bataan Death March, one of the worst atrocities in World War II. His wife, Florinda, said he became a happy person.

“He loved life,” she said. “Wherever we go, he befriends everybody.”  Mrs. Rabano said her husband told her about brutalities soldiers endured during the march in April 1942. He told her that of 250 soldiers in his group, only 100 survived.

During the 60-mile march, Japanese troops would randomly pick one of the soldiers and make him dig his own grave. They would then blindfold him, make him kneel and cut off his head, she said.

Rabano told his wife the soldiers were only given a ball of rice and a canteen of water for the trip. He believed he survived because he did not eat and drink it all immediately.

“He saved it,” she said. After the march, the soldiers who were still alive had to ride 30 more miles on a crowded train. “The boxcar was so airtight that some soldiers suffocated,” Mrs. Rabano said.

Rabano, who was in the famous Filipino Scouts unit, was released from a prisoner-of-war camp when the Philippines were liberated in 1943. He later served in the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Mrs. Rabano said her husband served in Fort Bragg’s 20th Engineer Battalion and helped build a bridge that was the longest in Vietnam at the time.

“He was so proud of his military service,” she said.

After retiring with more than 34 years in the Army, Rabano was a longtime civilian employee at Fort Bragg and became a leader in Fayetteville’s Filipino community. Mrs. Rabano said her husband was an architect who helped design a number of buildings in the area.

Mrs. Rabano said her husband’s two favorite sayings were “Don’t worry. Be happy,” and “Take it as it comes.”

“Those were the two things he always said to everybody, and to me, because I worry too much,” she said.

Rabano’s daughter, Esther Thompson, said she and the other children learned that their father’s strict ways prepared them for life.

“Don’t worry, Dad, we will be happy,” she said.

Another daughter, Eleanor McCroskey, said Rabano was a brave and courageous man.

“I salute you and I love you very much,” she said.

Mrs. Rabano said her husband was a survivor even during the last few days of his life.

“He was fighting for his life,” she said. “He wanted to live, but the Lord said it was time to come home.”

Staff writer Steve DeVane can be reached at or 486-3572.
                                                                                                                                    Father and Linda
After reading this article. I can say that yes. Linda the second wife heard this story from my father. But Linda did not experience the hardship that my Father my Mother experienced during World War II. The growing pains and the financial hardship involved raising 5 children while my father is fighting another WAR.
Looking back, I wish I could have learned more about my father. Knowing what I know about him. I’m very proud to be his Son. It’s to late to turn back the clock and it’s to late to Dance with my Father again. But it’s never to late to say I’m so proud to be his Son and proud to his contribution to the Country.
This is how I want to remember my Father.
Categories: People | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My Hero My Dad

Its’ almost like yesterday when a man walking in our leaving room front door one afternoon was introduce to me by my Mother as my Father.  I was six at that time and I don’t know how I responded to him. All I can recall was he look so tall. Unlike some other people that can remember what they did with their father when they were growing up. My recollection of my Father is a cloud. The only recollection I have of him was he pick me up and gave me a hug and I felt scared. Who is this man who pick me up, smile and laugh at me. He didn’t stay long with the family before going back to what he does for the Army.

We left the Philippines were I was born to join our Father in America in 1959 to start a new life. We settled permanently in Fayetteville, NC. That is when I was 12yrs. of age.

To this day. I steel don’t know much about my father growing up. I don’t know if that would make much of a difference as I grow up.

J. Rabano

J. Rabano

Here’s a picture of him at a younger age. Don’t know when this was taken or his age. Our family never ask those questions’ or ask what he does for a living.

Mother only say, his most important job is to put food on the table. So we don’t ask what he do or when he’ll be back home. Home at that time is the Philippine Island. Because of his work and effort we are born a citizen of the United States of America.

I saw my Father the second time when we join him in the States 1959. Station in Fort Bragg NC. I was 12yrs. of age at that time.

Below is a picture of my Mother and my Father. I don’t know when this was taken. I made this picture showing showing my mother and father together.

My Mother & Dad

My Mother & Father

This is what he did in his life. For Country and Family.

My Dad, My Hero

My Father is a P.O.W. He was at the Bataan Death March. After being liberated by the U.S. (General MacArthur). He joined the United States Army.  Were he was sent to the DMZ in Korea. As if that was not enough for him. He was then sent to Vietnam War zone. Took a break to be with family only to be sent to the Dominican Republic. Then called back to Vietnam again.

He retired and was given a Meritorious Service Medal*Army Comendation Medal (4th OLC)*Good Conduct Medal (7th Award). This is his story for not being home with family. He’s been fighting for God and Country to keep his family safe from harm.

If someone ask me about my father. I tell them. He is my HERO for what he did to keep his Family FREE and FREE from harm. Do I know him? No. But I know the sacrifice he did to keep his family FREE. Which is  good enough for me.

This Sunday (3-4-12) my FATHER joined his Unit in HEAVEN. I’ll miss him but I know he is looking over his FAMILY.

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