Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that he contacted U.S. Army Major General Robert Lee regarding soldiers from American Samoa that are stranded in Kuwait.
“According to a Samoa News report dated July 6, 2005, some 68 soldiers who are in Iraq and on Rest and Recuperation (R&R) leave status are stranded in Kuwait because they have been unable to secure seats on Hawaiian Airline to come home,” Congressman Faleomavaega said.
“Upon receiving this news, I immediately contacted General Robert Lee, the Adjutant General for the State of Hawaii, to seek more information about the matter and to request his assistance for our soldiers.”
“General Lee assured me that none of our soldiers who are coming to American Samoa for R&R leave will lose any leave days because of the problem they are encountering due to the lack of available seats on the airlines. In fact, General Lee said, ‘our soldiers will be able to enjoy the full 15 days of leave with their families and loved ones without penalty.”’
“In other words, the leave count for our soldiers will not begin until they arrivein Aemrican Samoa. The days they spend in Kuwait and enroute to American Samoa are just extra days for them.”
“At my request, General Lee is also working with Hawaiian Airlines to get our soldiers home as quickly as possible. I want our soldiers and their families to know that my office and the U.S. Army are doing everything we can to see that the needs of our soldiers are being met. As I have said before, and I will say again, members of our military have sacrificed a lot to serve our country and, in return, we will do our utmost to support them and their families,” the Congressman concluded.