Isle soldier is eighth Samoan killed in war
Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Loa, a nine-year Army veteran, was killed in Iraq on Aug. 16
The staff sergeant who was killed by a roadside bomb while on foot patrol Aug. 16 in Ar Ramadi in Iraq had been in the Army for nine years.
The Pacific Magazine yesterday reported that Jeffrey Loa was the son of Duke Loa and the late Vaisa'a Ofoia. He was married, the magazine said.
Loa, 32, of Waianae, was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 35th Armored Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, in Baumholder, Germany.
The magazine said Loa's death brings to eight the number of fatalities of Samoan descent, with more than 30 wounded.
Pago Pago House Member Muavaefaatasi Ae Ae Jr., who said he was related to Loa, said, "This son of American Samoa served our country well, and he should be congratulated for his dedicated service.
"His death brings sadness and sorrow for his family as well as all Samoans, who are proud of his service."
Eni Faleomavaega, American Samoa's delegate to Congress, said, "I extend my most heartfelt condolences to ... the family members and friends of Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Loa on this tragic news."
He was Hawaii's 90th casualty since the Iraqi war began on March 19, 2003. Thirty-one soldiers, two sailors, 55 Marines, one Air Force member and one civilian with Hawaii ties have been killed.
Fifteen 25th infantry Division soldiers have died in Afghanistan, as well as 10 Marines and six sailors.
A total of 28 soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. The 25th Division has about 7,000 soldiers now deployed to Iraq, where there are also about 900 Kaneohe Marines.
Since arriving in Iraq in February, the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, has lost 10 Marines.
30 isle Marines heading to Iraq
An additional 30 Kaneohe Marines with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 24 were to leave this afternoon for a seven-month deployment to Al Anbar province in Iraq.
They will join Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 16 from San Diego to support the operations of CH53-D Sea Stallion helicopters from Marine Aviation Group 24.