Congressman Faleomavaega today expressed his heartfelt condolences to the families of SGT Vevesi Semu, Jr. and SGT. Malaefou Heather who both died recently from accidental incidents. Based on news reports, Sgt. Vevesi Semu died on August 9 from drowning during a family outing in the Ft. Hood, Texas area while Sgt. Malaefou Heather died on August 18 as a result of a car accident in the Fort Walton Beach, Florida area.
Sgt. Vevesi Semu, Jr. initially joined the U.S. Army Reserve in American Samoa before turning active duty in 2003. He was an Infantryman assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. He was twice deployed to war – first in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from June, 2004 to June, 2005 and later Operation Enduring Freedom from July 2008 to May 2009. He is from Nu’uuli and is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Vevesi and Talaleu Semu.
Sgt. Malaefou Heather had just completed his second tour of duty in Iraq this past July. As a combat medic, Sgt. Heather served one tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2004 and completed two tours in Iraq as part of Company A, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment “Wolfhounds,” 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team “Warrior,” 25th Infantry Division, Multi-National Division- Baghdad. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Loo and Pimeneto Heather from the village of Leone.
“I am saddened by these upsetting and unexpected situations,” Faleomavaega said. “The way both of these young soldiers died is a tragedy – after both have served multiple deployments in war zones where death is most expected, it is hard to accept and believe the tragic circumstances concerning both of their deaths. Our country has lost two honorable service men, whose services will not be forgotten.”
“Again, I extend my most heartfelt sympathies to the families of both Sergeant Vevesi Semu and Sergeant Malaefou Heather. I pray for God’s peace and comfort for all of your families during this difficult time,” Faleomavaega concluded.