EJ Bagtas: student and survivor

EJ Bagtas: student and survivor

E.J. smiles for a photo.

Most students heard about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March, but only one truly experienced it first hand.

Edward (E.J.) Bagtas (11) was living in Yokota, Japan on a U.S. Air Force base at the time of the earthquake. Yokota is located just outside of Tokyo. On March 11, Bagtas felt the earthquake.

“I felt the earthquake for sure, but the incoming tsunmai really had no effect on me,” Bagtas said.

After the events, Bagtas was sent back to the U.S. to stay here in Saint Louis with his aunt and uncle.

“The military was sending out all of the dependents from the military bases out of the country to the U.S. My dad stayed because he’s in the military, and my mom stayed because she is a school nurse,” Bagtas explained.

Bagtas stated that before he left, 120 of the 300 kids at his school had already left the country. Bagtas will be finishing out the rest of his junior year of high school at OHS, then will be going back to Japan for good this summer.

“I just want things to go back to normal. I just wish I was back in Japan right now,” Bagtas said.

The changes coming his way for when he gets back, however, will be unavoidable.

“It’s not going to be different physically really; the places and stuff are going to be the same,” Bagtas explained. “But everyone moved away, so I know that when everyone moves back it’s just gonna be so much different.”

Caption: Edward (E.J.) Bagtas (11) smiles for a photo. Photo by Dallas Terry.