Monday, August 27, 2007

Army Maj. Henry S. Ofeciar

Remember Our Heroes

Army Maj. Henry S. Ofeciar, 37, of Agana, Guam

Maj. Ofeciar was assigned to the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.; died Aug. 27, 2007 at Forward Operating Base Naray, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit during combat operations in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Also killed were Master Sgt. Scott R. Ball and Sgt. Jan M. Argonish.

Fallen soldier returns home
By Lacee A.C. Martinez
Pacific Daily News

Holding lit tapered candles, dozens of friends and family members welcomed home the body of another Guam soldier lost in battle.

The body of Army Maj. Henry Ofeciar arrived just before 1 a.m. yesterday on a Continental Airlines flight greeted with a water salute followed by a short and quiet state reception at the island's commuter terminal.


Ofeciar was one of three soldiers killed in combat on Aug. 27 when enemy forces using small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades attacked his unit in Afghanistan.

He was 37.
Ofeciar was assigned to the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, out of Fort Riley, Kan. He was embedded with the Afghan police before his death.

The Micronesian region now mourns 24 sons killed since the War on Terror began in 2001. Ten of the soldiers died this year, according to Pacific Daily News files.

Master Sgt. Scott R. Ball, 38, of Mount Holly Springs, Penn., and Sgt. Jan M. Argonish, 26, of Peckville, Penn., were with Ofeciar during the attack. Ball and Argonish were assigned to the 55th Brigade, Pennsylvania Army National Guard.

While U.S. Army Reserve Honor Guard soldiers in their green uniforms carried the soldier's coffin through the old terminal, Ofeciar's father, donning a blue U.S. Customs and Border Protection uniform, stood firm and saluted.

"He told us that he was going to be deployed to Afghanistan and help the Afghani people," the father said. "I'm very sad but that's what he loved to do."

Pedro Ofeciar flew in from Texas to bury his son killed in battle.

"I would say he was my hero to my co-workers," Pedro Ofeciar said. "He was my son but I would call him my hero. He died in defense of our freedom."

The soldier's uncle, Tony Borja, said he, too, was proud of his nephew who rose through the military ranks.

Borja, a Las Vegas resident and retired Air Force officer, spent time briefly with his nephew early last month when the soldier was on island to bury a close aunt.

"You have this thing like he's a brother-in-arms," Borja said. "He had established milestones and we're very proud of that. His potential hasn't even been challenged yet. I'm very saddened by his death."

After speeches given by Gov. Felix Camacho and Guam National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Donald Goldhorn, Talofofo Mayor Pedro Paulino spoke of the sacrifice the soldier and his family has made for the nation.

Henry Ofeciar is the second Talofofo native killed in the War on Terror.

U.S. Army Spc. Richard DeGracia Naputi Jr. of Talofofo died in 2005 when a homemade bomb detonated during combat operations, PDN files state.

"When our nation needed him to serve in a time of crisis, without hesitation, Maj. Henry San Nicolas Ofeciar knew that it was an obligation to serve his armed forces he so loved and cherished," Paulino said.

"He knew that freedom was not free. He knew that there were a number of soldiers before him that paid the ultimate price so that we could partake in the freedom that we all sometimes take for granted."

A funeral service for Henry Ofeciar is scheduled for Sept. 15 at the San Miguel Catholic Church in Talofofo.

Army Maj. Henry S. Ofeciar was killed in action on 8/27/07.

No comments: