Kaimuki High graduate dies on duty in Iraq war
A Honolulu soldier from Schofield Barracks has died in Muqdadiyah, Iraq, from "non-combat related causes," the Department of Defense announced yesterday.
Staff Sgt. Nimo Westhill Masaniai Tauala, 29, died Saturday, and his death is being investigated, the department said. He graduated from Kaimuki High School in 1995, school officials confirmed.
Tauala was assigned to the 209th Aviation Support Battalion, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division. He joined the Army in January 2000 and was assigned to Schofield in February 2004.
He was deployed to Iraq between July and September last year, according to Schofield Barracks. His awards included a National Defense Service Medal and a Presidential Unit Citation.
No other information on Tauala was released, and Schofield Barracks officials said his family in Hawaii has requested privacy.
Tauala is the 133rd service member with Hawaii ties to die in Iraq since the United States invaded the country in March 2003.
He was the 29th Schofield soldier to die in Iraq, according to an Army spokeswoman.