Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that he recently received notification from the United States Army in the Pentagon about the loss of Staff Sergeant Loleni W. Gandy, on November 19, 2010, in Balad, Iraq, in support of Operation New Dawn. According to the Department of the Army, initial reports indicate that Staff Sergeant Gandy died from injuries sustained from a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 103rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Reserve, Des Moines, Iowa.
Staff Sergeant Loleni Gandy, 36, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Larry and Uti Gandy of American Samoa. Larry Gandy, retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1971 was originally from Sioux City, Iowa while Uti was from Aumi/Laulii in American Samoa.
Staff Sergeant Gandy was married to Faauta Faataualofa Maae. They have four sons – Amadeus (20) who is attending college in La Crosse, Wisconsin; Alexander (19) who has followed the footsteps of his father and joined the U.S. Army and had just graduated from Basic Training – he is stationed in Fort Carson, Colorado; Tyler (14) and Lawrence (13) who are remaining at home and attending school in Tomah, Wisconsin.
“I am very saddened by the loss of Staff Sergeant Loleni Gandy,” Faleomavaega said. “His passing serves as a reminder of the ultimate sacrifice made by our sons and daughters, Toa Samoa, in the name of freedom and the principles upon which the United States of America was founded.”
“I extend my heartfelt sympathy and condolences to Faauta and their four sons, Larry and Uti Gandy, and the rest of Loleni’s extended family and friends. As with other Toa Samoa that have gone before him, Loleni’s name will be forever etched in the hallowed grounds of those that have served the United States with selfless motivation. Their memory will forever live on in the hearts of our people,” Faleomavaega concluded.