The handkerchief that never came back and the nurse's reunion with the girl he helped give birth to

The handkerchief that never came back and the nurse’s reunion with the girl he helped give birth to

Claudio Quintero with Malvina Soledad / Photo Cris Sille

those of Jorge Staurini and Claudio Quintero are two of the stories of courage that feed the history of Puerto San Julianthe Santacruceña locality that today was declared “Heroic City of the Argentine Air Force” for the hospitality of its population during the conflict of Falklandswhich housed and accompanied the military personnel at that time and within the framework of that close relationship between soldiers and civilians, countless life stories originated.

One of those stories was told to Télam by Senior Petty Officer Jorge Staurini, who was in charge of loading bombs on the planes that took off from the base to attack the enemy sea fleet.

“I was loading the pumps and I hurt my finger. It was nothing serious, but it was bleeding a lot. That’s how one of the A4 pilots, Fausto Gavazzi, approached me and gave me the handkerchief that combatants wear around their necks and distinguishes them according to the aircraft they command,” Staurini told Télam.

Senior Warrant Officer Jorge Staurini was in charge of loading bombs on planes that took off from the base to attack the enemy sea fleet. Photo Cris Sille
Senior Warrant Officer Jorge Staurini was in charge of loading bombs on planes taking off from the base to attack the enemy sea fleet / Photo Cris Sille

“At first I didn’t want to accept it, but he insisted and I finally wrapped my finger in the handkerchief. When Fausto was doing the tour of the plane before taking off, I approached the ladder and told him: I’ll have it washed for you when you come back and I’ll give it back to him. I’m going to throw a couple of bombs and come back, he answered me, “added the soldier while he couldn’t help but glaze over his eyes.

“The issue is that Fausto did not return, he was one of those who remained in the sea that day. He threw a bomb at an English frigate and when he returned he received a cannon shot that sank it,” he said.

He continued commenting that later he wanted to return the handkerchief to his widow and children, but they refused. “You are the last person who spoke with him, you deserve to keep that memory, they told me and to this day I keep the handkerchief as a treasure, after 40 years”.

  Photo Cris Sille
/ Photo Cris Sille

Another moving story is that experienced by Petty Officer Claudio Quintero, a nurse based in San Julián in April 1982. “We were with a team of about 15 professionals. I am a radiology technician and a nurse. We attended to the townspeople and our people,” he said.

“One day a woman comes about to give birth, and of course we attend to her immediately and a girl was bornand the mother, in tribute to the attention she received from us and that, in short, allowed her daughter to be born without problems, asked us to be the ones to name her”, he continues to relate excitedly.

  Photo Cris Sille
/ Photo Cris Sille

“That’s how we named her Malvina Soledad and her last name is Antico. I haven’t seen her since then and I looked for her intensely when I learned that she was going to return to San Julián after 40 years. And I was able to find her and today we gave each other a huge hug”said.

Claudio hugs Malvina Soledad, who is 40 years old and has two children, one of whom is with her. Both cannot avoid the tears for that reunion and for the beginning of a relationship that, they promise, they will not let go.

“It’s a huge emotion, knowing that it was he who brought me into the world and being able to meet him, after everything my mother told me, I really can’t believe it,” said Malvina Soledad without detaching herself from Claudio.



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