Apalachicola leaders honored for service

Published: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 14:21 PM.

“I have to admire the Filipino people, how hard they work and strive,” he said. “They can take anything that we would throw away and make something out of it.”

Elliott joked that he had shared several glasses of tea with the Filipino police chief, recalling that when he served in Operation Desert Strom in Saudi Arabia, he had been invited to a home and was poured a glass of tea by a child there.

“I didn’t want to insult him, so I drank it and it was horrible,” he said. “I drank it fast so he poured me another one.”

Elliott, whose military service stretches back to the tail end of Vietnam, said “God’s been good to me. I’ve seen a lot of things, good and bad, and met a lot of different people. America is the best place for an opportunity to succeed if you try hard enough.”

Elliott said he first arrived in the Philippines just days before the typhoon struck one of the islands.

“It was like a nuclear bomb. It just stripped the leaves off all the trees and turned it into a barren wasteland,” he said. “They didn’t have chainsaws, they had axes for chopping trees to clear roads and all. You come back and realize how good we do have it.”

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