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SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, May 17) - An Army sergeant from Tinian in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas was severely wounded recently during a mortar attack on a military base in Mosul, Iraq.

On May 8, Sgt. Nazario Borja was hit by mortar shrapnel in his chest, abdomen and leg, according to a news release from the Tinian mayor's office, which was informed of the incident. The shrapnel that hit his chest severed a main artery for his lungs and caused his lungs to fill with fluid, the news release said.

Nazario Borja was one of two people injured in the mortar attack, the news release said.

After the quick reaction from his fellow soldiers to care for him and the emergency evacuation to Germany, Borja is recovering from the injuries he sustained.

He has since been moved to Fort Lewis, Wash., the news release said. His recovery is expected to take a year or more.

Tinian Mayor Francisco M. Borja is asking CNMI residents to pray for Nazario Borja's recovery.

"The people of the CNMI and Tinian are proud of Sgt. Borja's service to our country," he said. "His bravery and his willingness to protect our freedoms should be commended and rewarded through all our prayers for his safe and speedy recovery."

Borja received a Purple Heart Medal after he was wounded in action and an Army Commendation Medal from the general and brigade commander in his division, the news release said.

May 17, 2004

Saipan Tribune http://www.saipantribune.com

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