20 fallen heroes honored with medals


POSTED: Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jay Hoskins Jr. was born Jan. 26.

Although he shared a birthday with his father, 8-week-old Jay never got to see his dad, Sgt. Jay M. Hoskins.

The Kaneohe Marine was killed in Iraq on Aug. 6 when a roadside bomb hit his vehicle, striking down the rifleman and two other members of his platoon from 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment: Lance Cpl. James D. Argentine, 23, of Farmingdale, N.Y.; and Lance Cpl. Travis T. Babine, 20, of San Antonio.

The elder Hoskins would have been 25 this year.

Yesterday, baby Jay; his 18-month-old brother, Tristen; and their mother, Chandler, were among the families and friends of 20 service members who received the Hawaii Medal of Honor during a solemn 90-minute joint session of the state Legislature held in the House chambers. Also honored were eight other service members who died last year but whose families or friends were unable to attend yesterday's ceremony.

It was the fifth joint session held by the Legislature since the law, authored by state Rep. K. Mark Takai, a Hawaii Army National Guard major, was enacted. To date, 268 medals have been presented to members of the U.S. armed forces, the U.S. military reserves and the Hawaii National Guard who were residents of Hawaii, attended an educational institution in Hawaii or were stationed in Hawaii at the time of their death.

Referring to Hoskins' two infant children, Senate President Colleen Hanabusa said that yesterday's ceremony was “;one of the most difficult.”;

Also on the dais to present the medals were House Speaker Calvin Say; Maj. Gen. Bob Lee, state adjutant general; and Gov. Linda Lingle.

Chandler Hoskins said it was still painful to speak of her husband, adding she was appreciative of the honor being bestowed on him.

;[Preview]    Medal of Honor given to 28 families in Hawaii

Hawaii lawmakers held a joint session at the Capitol to honor fallen heroes with ties to the Aloha State.


Watch ]





“;I appreciate everything everyone has done,”; said the Paris, Texas, native. Hoskins enlisted in August 2003 and reported to Kaneohe in January 2009.

Receiving the medal for Argentine was his mother, Janet.

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Jordan Potts accepted the medal for fellow corpsman Babine.

Traveling from Palau to receive the medal for Sgt. Jasper Obakrairur were his parents, Daniel Obakrairur and Florence Kambalang.

Jasper Obakrairur, a team leader with the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, in Fort Drum, N.Y., died June 1 in Nerkh, Afghanistan, from injuries he suffered from a roadside bomb.

He was 26 and had attended the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

Obakrairur deployed to Afghanistan in January. He joined the Army in March 2004 and served at Fort Drum since August of that year. He previously deployed to Afghanistan from January 2006 to May 2007.

“;It means a lot to us,”; his father said after the ceremony. “;It's a very special occasion for us. We are honored to be part of this ceremony. We want to thank the Hawaii state Legislature for giving us the opportunity to attend this ceremony.”;