Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Army Sgt. Lui Tumanuvao

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Lui Tumanuvao, 29, of Fagaalu, American Samoa

Sgt. Tumanuvao was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, Fort Stewart, Ga.; died Nov. 7, 2007 in Arab Jabour, Iraq, of wounds sustained when he was struck by an improvised explosive device during combat operations.

By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (Samoa News, Nov. 8) - Another son of American Samoa has died in the Iraq war, the 16th soldier of Samoan descent to die in the Middle East conflict.

Army Sgt. Lui Tumanuvao, 29, was killed in Iraq on Wednesday and his family was informed yesterday by officials from the local Army Reserve who visited the family home in Ili'ili, said his father Kelekolio Tumanuvao.

Specific details of Lui's death remain unknown and at press time last night the U.S. Defense Department had not yet issued an official statement.

"It's a very sad day for us," Kelekolio said yesterday afternoon in a telephone interview. He said when the family first received the news - which was through a telephone call from a relative off-island, "Lui's mom could not stop crying nor could his grandmother Fa'aea."

"My son was a very quiet and kind person," he said and noted Lui's uncle Father Viane had visited the family after being informed of the sad news.

Tumanuvao was a 1994 graduate of Marist Brothers High School. He then went on to the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) and had worked at the Emergency Medical Service (EMS).

Kelekolio said his son was a local reservist with the Bravo and Charlie companies, who was deployed to Iraq in 2004 and returned in early 2006. Kelekolio said it was afterwards that Lui decided to become an active member of the Army.

He was stationed at Ft. Stewart, Georgia but it was not immediately clear when he was deployed to Iraq for the second time.

Kelekolio said funeral arrangements are pending and the family wants Lui to be returned home for burial.

Lui is survived by his wife Selia and their two young children; his parents Kelekolio and Monica; and siblings

Army Sgt. Lui Tumanuvao was killed in action on 11/07/07.

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