Sergeant Eustacio C. Bermudez Jr., 1972 - 2010
Sergeant Eustacio Cajucom Bermudez, Jr., a national of the Philippines, was deployed to the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) as a member of the 10th Philippine Peacekeeping Contingent.
In 1990, Eustacio survived a major earthquake that destroyed the building of the Christian College of the Philippines in Cabanatuan City where he was a student at the time. After being trapped under the collapsed building with 300 other students for several hours, he was rescued with just a few bruises.
After joining the army in 1991, Eustacio took numerous military courses that included the basic airborne course, special forces operations course and the jumpmaster course.
Prior to his deployment to MINUSTAH where he worked as a clerk in the Conduct and Discipline Unit, Eustacio was assigned to the Special Forces Regiment (Airborne) of the Philippine Army.
Eustacio received various military awards including the Bronze Cross Medal, the Military Civic Action Medal and Military Commendation Medals. A colleague in Haiti described Eustacio as “reliable, cooperative and diligent in the performance of his job.”
Lieutenant Colonel Romeo Brawner Jr., spokesperson for the Armed Forces of the Philippines said, “Good men must die, but death cannot kill his name that has now made a mark in the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine nation.”
Eustacio’s wife, Ruby Jean, said that she spoke with her husband the day before the earthquake. He told her that they would celebrate his 38th birthday together when he was due to return the following month and that he had already bought souvenirs from Haiti for their family.
Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo were among those who met the remains of Eustacio and three other Filipinos who died working for MINUSTAH, at the airport in Manila on 2 February.
Eustacio and his colleagues were posthumously awarded the Military Merit Medal and the UN Service Medal by their country in honour of their “unselfish services and commitment to peace and security both to our nation and the world at large.”
Eustacio is survived by his wife, their daughter, his mother and four sisters.