'Devastated' mom of Fil-Am soldier who died in US training seeks swift visa
MANILA – The mother of a Filipino-American soldier who died in a military training accident said she is “devastated” by her daughter’s death, as she appealed to the United States government to swiftly grant her application for a visa so she could see her daughter.
“Sana po mabigyan ako ng, kung ang tawag doon ay emergency visa, yung humanitarian reason na lang, kasi I really need to see my daughter now. I’m so devastated, I cannot work,” said Eva Salcedo, mother of Cpl. Emilie Marie Eve Bolanos.
(I hope I will be given an emergency visa for humanitarian reasons, because I really need to see my daughter now.)
Cpl. Bolanos and Sgt. Isaac John Gayo died when Black Hawk helicopters designed for medical evacuation crashed during a nighttime training mission in Trigg County, near Fort Campbell in Kentucky.
“Emilie is a daughter first, bago sundalo…I pray, I hope, I beg of you… sinumang makakatulong sa 'kin, sabi kailangan ko ng visa,” Bolanos's mother said.
(Emilie is a daughter first before she is a soldier. I pray, I hope, I beg of you, whoever can help me, I need a visa.)
Salcedo noted that she already has a valid passport. Her elder son Lester, Bolanos’ brother, was already assisted by the Department of Foreign Affairs for an expedited passport application process.
Salcedo recalled how her daughter was generous with her, even buying her a home in Tennessee so they no longer have to be far apart.
“Lagi niyang dine-dedicate lahat ng ginagawa niya sa akin. Hindi ko alam kung bakit. Kaya I feel so burdened, so devastated…sobrang bait ng anak ko...spoiled na spoiled ako," she added.
(She dedicates all that she does to me. I don't know why. That's why I feel so burdened and devastated... My daughter is so kind, she spoiled me.)
“Kakaiba ang pagkatao at pag-uugali ni Emilie, napaka-selfless, very family oriented. In fact, may nag-aya na sa kanyang magpakasal, [sabi niya] hindi, kasi, ako muna, hanggang sa makapunta ako doon, stable siya.”
(Emilie is very special, she is so selfless and family-oriented. In fact, someone offered her marriage, but she refused it until I could come with her and she's stable.)
For his part, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Henry Bensurito said the US is likely to grant Salcedo’s visa application as her daughter was a member of the military.
"Sa tingin ko po dahil nga tao naman po sila at meron naman po silang simpatya lalo sa kanilang mga service personnel at ito po’y isang malaking storya, and therefore yung US Embassy I think is very sympathetic,” he said.
(I think they will have sympathy for families of their fallen personnel. This is a big story, I think the US Embassy will be sympathetic.)
--TeleRadyo, 3 April 2023