Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that he has received official notification from the Pentagon that Staff Sergeant Frank Tia’i was killed in Ballad, Iraq on July 17, 2005. SSG Tia’i was a member of the U.S. Army Reserve in American Samoa. He was assigned to C Company, 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment.
According to the U.S. Army, SSG Frank Tia’i was killed while on patrol when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded. His remains have been received at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware which is also the Defense Department’s largest military mortuary where they will follow normal identification protocols and preparation for transfer to American Samoa. SSG Tia’i is survived by his wife, Mrs. Talosaga Tia’i, and children, Faga R. Tia’i and Foafoaga Tia’i. He is the son of the late Mr. Faga Tia’i and Mrs. Mataua Tia’i of Pago Pago, American Samoa.
“There is no easy way to convey to a grieving wife, children or parents one’s sense of sorrow for the loss of their loved one, especially when that loss is the result of someone having made the ultimate sacrifice for his country to ensure that we live peacefully,” said Congressman Faleomavaega. “Yesterday, I found myself once again at a loss of words when I spoke with Mrs. Talosaga Tia’i. I simply extended to her and her children my most heartfelt sympathy and condolences for their loss.”
“Staff Sergeant Tia’i is a true hero who has served his country with honor during his 12 years of military service. Like his comrades who have gone before him, he answered his country’s call to safeguard the values and principles that our great nation is founded upon. I have informed Talosaga and the Department of the Army that I plan to join the military escort party and members of the family enroute to American Samoa where Staff Sergeant Tia’i’s body will be laid to rest,” the Congressman concluded.