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By Tauva Esera

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa, (Samoa News, Feb. 17) - Gunnery Sergeant John Salanoa, serving in the 4th ID with the 13th Brigade from Fortsill, Oklahoma in Iraq was critically injured during a suicide bomber incident last week.

The mother of the local solider, Mrs. Young, contacted Samoa News wishing to clarify that her son is not dead as a result of the attack despite reports out of independent Samoa and information via e-mail that he died from the incident.

Reportedly, GSgt Salanoa was with other two soldiers in Baghdad on Feb. 10 when they were attacked with a bomb from behind.

The incident sent the three to the hospital with GSgt Salanoa being most critically wounded, sustaining head and back injuries.

Mrs. Young, updated Samoa News yesterday informing that her son is miraculously alive and slowly healing from his injuries, in Germany. She said that her son insists on getting back to be with his troop after he recovers.

Having experienced this horrific form of terrorism firsthand, GSgt Salanoa will not hesitate to again fight against terrorists.

GSgt Salanoa's mother personally thanked the people of American Samoa and all those who are praying for not only the Samoan soldiers, but for all others who are fighting against terrorism to preserve freedom for everyone.

GSgt Salanoa has been in the military service for many years now, and has about two more years before he retires. His brigade of soldiers are scheduled to be relieved from the battle zone this coming March, a year since they left for Iraq.

GSgt Salanoa is the Youngs' oldest son but was adopted by the late Salanoa Aumoeualogo and Mrs. Fa'aalo.

February 24, 2004

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