Congressman Faleomavaega today issued the following statement in response to the recent death of U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Ioasa F. Tava’e who was killed on April 2, 2005, in Mosul, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“According to the U.S. Army, Staff Sergeant Tava’e died of injuires sustained when his unit was attacked by enemy forces using small arms fire. Staff Sergeant Ioasa Tava’e was assigned to A Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, at Fort Lewis, Washington.”
“As standard protocol in the U.S. Armed Forces, the Pentagon informs the appropriate members of Congress after notification has been made to the family or next of kin of the deceased service member. When I received the news of Staff Sergeant Ioasa Tava’e’s death, I was very saddened thinking about his family and parents, Mr. To’o Tava’e and Mrs. Filogia Tava’e, who are now grieving over the loss of their beloved son. I offer them my sincere condolences and I pray that our Heavenly Father will comfort them during this difficult time.”
“I am very pleased to know that the Pentagon is doing everything they can to honor the wishes of the Tava’e family to transfer the remains of Staff Sergeant Tava’e to American Samoa on next Monday’s flight. I am coordinating with the Pentagon and making arrangements to join Staff Sergeant Benny Salas and other military service members on the same flight to escort Ioasa’s body home. Staff Sergeant Salas, who is a member of Staff Sergeant Tava’e’s unit in Fort Lewis, Washington, will be the official escort for Tava’e’s remains from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to Honolulu, Hawaii on Saturday.”
“It is always heartbreaking whenever tragedy occurs and the death of Staff Sergeant Ioasa Tava’e reminds us again of the reality of war and the sacrifices our sons and daughters in the military are making to bring about peace and freedom to the people of Iraq. Like Staff Sergeant Ioasa Tava’e, Sergeant Tina Time, Staff Sergeant Salamo Tuialu’ulu’u, Private Jonathan Falaniko, and Specialist Farao Letufuga have all made the ultimate sacrifice so we may all live in peace. Let us remember them and their families in our prayers.”
“Let us continue to pray for the safe return of the many sons and daughters of Samoa who continue to serve patriotically in Iraq and the rest of the world and also remember their families and loved ones that are left behind.”