June 30th is the day of the Armed Forces in Guatemala, unfortunately the armed forces are viewed like the US armed forces in Vietnam times were. It is a controversial holiday, not that everyone is not happy to take the day off, but there are mixed feelings about 'el ejercito'.
There are those who were abused by the military in the time of the civil war, there are those who were abused by the guerillas and protected by the military and there are those who were abused by both.
What I can say is that our family does celebrate the good men and women in the military and are thankful for the opportunities that institution provided our family.
My dad after having lost both his parents at age 19 joined the Air Force. A series of events, good people and God's will led him on a path sponsored by the military to become a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language with various specialization, most of them acquired at the Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio Texas. The military gave him a profession he is proud of and that gave him the means to support his family, change the lives of his students, share the knowledge with pears and even give employment to many.
In this June 3oth I join the celebration in honor of Andony Citalan, whose story reminds me of my dad's in the sense of how many things had to happen at the right place, time and with the right people, depending on your beliefs you can call it providence or universal law of attraction.
Andony was born in a small town in Quetzaltenango where finishing 6th grade is considered the standard expected level of education. He and his mom came to Guatemala city when he was in 5th grade. He went on to finishing elementary and with the help of a whole support group, he and his mom had won over with their kindness, hard work and true friendship, he joined the Instituto Adolfo V. Hall Central, a military academy for young men, graduated last year and won a scholarship to study at the Military Academy Aghulas Negras, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, were he is currently in his first year. We are extremely proud of Andony's and Flora's (his mom) accomplishments -Flora came with only a 6th grade education and is now enrolled in the University studying accounting-. Andony will be, and in fact is, another great man forged by the military, bearing fruits of glory for Guatemala!
At pico Das Aghulas Negras Brazil. Andony is in a week long military exercise, the only Guatemalan at the school. When he returns to Guatemala aside from his University degree and military rank, he will have learned, additional to the Spanish and English he went with, Portuguese and French.