Hafa Adai fellow Veterans,
I am honored to have been asked by the National Organization of Chamorro Veterans in America (NOCVA) to say a few words on this Memorial Day to our veterans, their families, and all who unselfishly support our outstanding men and women serving our country. It is very refreshing to come across organizations like NOCVA, dedicated to the advocacy, recognition, outreach, and promotion of our veterans, and in this particular case, our Veterans from Guam and the Northern Marianas.
Memorial Day is a time set aside in our busy lives to remember and honor those amongst us who have sacrificed so much, and in many cases, paid the ultimate sacrifice in our nation’s service. I was humbly and sadly reminded of this tremendous sacrifice when I recently read the announcement of two of our brave Guam National Guardsmen: Sgt. Eugene M. Aguon, 23, of Mangilao, Guam and Spc. Dwayne W. Flores, 22, of Sinajana, Guam. Both of these courageous Chamorros died in Kabul, Afghanistan of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their unit with a vehicle borne improvised explosive device. They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 294th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Fort Juan Muna, Guam. Like so many who have gone before them serving in WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam Conflict, Desert Storm and Operation Enduring Freedom, these brave men and women sacrificed their dreams to preserve the hope of our nation, keeping our country free. We owe them our deepest gratitude, respect and honor.
I ask that you draw on the strength of our Island culture of faith and familia. Continue to keep those in service to our country and their families in your prayers. I would offer that every one of you reading this note has a family member, a friend, co-worker or a neighbor who is a veteran. It would mean a lot to them on this day that you take the time to share a hand-shake or a hug with them. It will be well received for those who have and will continue to go into harm’s way for our country.
May God bless all our Veterans and our great country on this Memorial Day.
Rear Admiral Pete Aguon Gumataotao
Guam 32nd Legislature Resolution Recognizes NOCVA
Hon. Aline Yamashita (32nd Guam Legislature), introduced a resolution recognizing NOCVA’s efforts to serve as the voice of Guam and CNMI veterans and their families. The resolution recognizes work done by NOCVA’s National Staff, Regional Coordinators, and members who have volunteered their time and expertise to establish NOCVA. Two NOCVA coordinators, Bill Cundiff (Guam) and Tony Leon Guererro (Washington), attended the presentation held on 8 July in Agana, Guam.