Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that he is commending NBC Nightly News for showcasing the sacrifices and commitment of American Samoa’s military men and women during a segment it aired last night.
“On January 25, 2006, NBC Nightly News correspondent Mark Potter contacted me from Hong Kong requesting an on-camera interview regarding U.S. military recruits in American Samoa,” Faleomavaega said. “Mr. Potter said, “We are planning a trip soon to American Samoa to do the story of successful U.S. military recruiting in the region. I have seen newspaper articles where you are quoted explaining the willingness of many Samoans to enlist, and I feel we would be remiss if we don’t seek out your views.”
“Due to our conflicting schedules, we were unable to meet but we did talk by phone and exchanged emails. I shared with Mr. Potter USA Today’s article entitled From tiny Pacific islands comes outsized sacrifice and noted that the Iraq war death rate per 1 million population is almost as high for American Samoa as for the 10 highest states combined. I also briefed him about American Samoa’s proud military tradition and our association with the U.S. for some 100 years.”
“I also gave him my district office phone number and assigned my Chief of Staff, Iuli Godinet, and a senior member of my staff, Sia Figiel, to assist Mr. Potter while he was in American Samoa with arrangements to meet with our soldiers who just returned from Iraq. I am pleased that Mr. Potter was able to interview our recruiters, ROTC students, and the family of Tina Time. Ms. Figel was also interviewed.”
“The NBC Nightly News report entitled Eager to serve in American Samoa can be viewed at www.msnbc.msm.com under World News. I am also requesting permission for NBC Nightly News to allow American Samoa to re-air this historical broadcast for all of our military men and women who may not have had an opportunity to view this last night.”
“I thank Mr. Potter and NBC Nightly News for caring enough about American Samoa to air this national report. I am also proud of the people of American Samoa and especially our military men and women for their loyalty to the U.S. and for the sacrifices they make so that all of us may live in peace. May God bless American Samoa,” Faleomavaega concluded.