Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Jolo, Sulu – July 4, 2021 C-130 crash first responder Erham A Awaluddin now a soldier of the 11th Infantry “Alakdan” Division.
After their oath of special enlistment, last December 9, 2021, 22-year-old Awaluddin and 298 other individuals officially joined the ranks of the 11ID soldiers as privates.
To recall, Awaluddin once caught the nation’s attention after a photo of him assisting a crash survivor (later known as PFC Ganney C Ligayan) circulated all over the internet.
Two days after the C-130 mishap, officers from the Alakdan Division recognized Awaluddin in the queue of applicants about to take the AFP Service Aptitude Test at Mindanao State University – Sulu. From then on, the officers guided Awaluddin throughout the application process.
In recognition of their bravery, all C-130 first responders were given medals and certificates on July 15, 2021. It was also during that occasion that 11th Infantry Division Commander MGen William N Gonzales personally assured Awaluddin that his heroic actions will have merit in his application to be part of the Philippine Army.
Yesterday, PFC Ligayan and now Private Erham Awaluddin share light moments over coffee and junay (local rice-cake delicacy) at Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista in Jolo, Sulu.
In an interview Pvt Awaluddin, expressed his heartfelt gratitude that his dream came into reality. “Maraming-maraming salamat po sa naparakaming tao na tumulong sa akin – sa mga nagpaabot po ng magagandang salita sa ginawa kong pag-rescue, sa mga tumulong po para maging sundalo po ako.”
“Hindi ko po sasayangin ang pagkakataong binigay sa akin. Tutulungan ko ang aking ina at sisikapin ko pong maging isang mabuting sundalo. Marami naman po ang nagbibigay ng advice sakin gaya ni Sir Ligayan,” he added.
This coming February, Pvt Awaluddin is set to undergo Basic Military Training at Mastal Division Training School in Camp Bud Datu Brgy Tagbak Indanan, Sulu. Meanwhile, he and his batchmates are getting a taste of military life in performing army dozen exercises and road run and undergoing lectures and on-the-job training at various offices inside the camp.