Congressman Faleomavaega Eni today expressed his deep condolences to Mrs. Selia M. Tumanuvao, wife of the late SGT Lui Tumanuvao, and to his parents, Monica and Kelekolio Tumanuvao of Iliili, American Samoa, on the tragic passing of husband and son.
Sergeant Lui Tumanuvao was killed in Iraq, November 7, 2007, while serving in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was struck by an improvised explosive devise (IED) while on a dismounted patrol. He was 29 years and 9 months of age when he died. He served in the U.S. Army for three years and two months and was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, in Fort Stewart, Georgia.
Sergeant Tumanuvao’s body is scheduled to arrive in American Samoa on Thursday evening, November 22 under the escort of his cousin SPC Michael Tumanuvao, his wife Selia and their two children and accompanied by Brigadier General John W. Peabody, Commanding General, U.S. Army Engineer Division, Pacific Ocean, at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, who will be the General Officer representative and the Army’s Senior Officer in Charge at the funeral services of SGT Tumanuvao. Lui Tumanuvao’s remains will be taken to the LBJ Hospital Morgue following a brief service at the Army Reserve Center upon arrival at Tafuna airport. He will then be transported to his home in Iliili on Friday at 2:00 p.m., with his final service scheduled at 9:00 a.m. Saturday, November 24, 2007, at the Catholic Cathedral in Iliili.
“I want to take this opportunity to offer my personal condolences to the parents of Sergeant Lui Tumanuvao, Mr. and Mrs. Kelekolio and Monica Tumanuvao, and especially to his wife, Selia, and children, Faaea and Lui, Jr., who have suffered a great loss. Sergeant Lui Tumanuvao was a father, a son, a hero who gave his life for all to live in peace. His bravery and commitment is an example of why we celebrate our Veterans and rejoice in Thanksgiving for their service and sacrifice for our country. I pray to God to give you all peace and comfort during these most difficult times.” Faleomavaega said.
“I deeply regret that I could not be there personally to share the honor of escorting Sergeant Tumanuvao home and to pay my respects during his final services. Arrangements and commitments were made for me to be somewhere else prior to Sergeant Tumanuvao’s death, and I am unable to rescind these commitments to be with you in your time of sorrow,” Faleomavaega wrote the wife and parents.
Sergeant Lui Tumanuvao has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Posthumous; Purple Heart, Posthumous, Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Posthumous; National Defense Service Medal; Iraq Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” device; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon; Combat Infantryman Badge; Weapons Qualification Badge, and was also certified as a rifle expert.
“I cannot say less about the honorable service Lui provided in which he made the ultimate sacrifice for global freedom from terrorism. He knew what he was getting into before he went in, and it was with his life that he gave so all of us would enjoy our freedom for as long as we live. For that, Tumanuvao has joined the consecrated rank of heroes from American Samoa and all others who have died in this Iraqi conflict. Our nation will always remain the land of the free for as long as it is the home of the brave. And all of them are truly brave men and women,” Faleomavaega concluded.