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By Moneth G. Deposa

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Oct. 2) - The remains of 24-year-old Army Private First Class Henry Paul will be brought to his native Pohnpei where his Saipan-based father, who has not seen his son for 16 years, is now headed.

Paul and Staff Sergeant Edward C. Reynolds of Texas died Tuesday last week in Baghdad, Iraq of injuries they received after their M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle rolled over.

The two were with the 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division based in Fort Hood, Texas.

Paul’s death marks the 13th casualty from the Micronesian region since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Aaron Paul, Pfc. Paul’s father, said he was saddened by the news.

"I was shocked when I learned about it. I will be there in (Pohnpei for) his burial," he told Variety yesterday.

"I have been here on Saipan since April of 1989. That was the last time I saw him. But even though we’ve been apart, I sincerely loved him for he was a good and obedient son," he said.

Henry Paul was the youngest of six children, all raised in Pohnpei by their aunt Yukiko Paul.

The victim’s father, 57, is now living with his relatives on Saipan.

The father, a former garment worker, said it was only last year that he learned that his son had entered the military.

"I cannot forget the days we had when my son was in elementary school in Pohnpei. At a very young age, he already showed his deep love for the family. He was an obedient kid and I will really miss him," he said.

According to Reverend Kohnee Ramon, Aaron Paul’s nephew, other relatives who are on Saipan will also try to fly to Pohnpei.

The relatives have asked the assistance of the local Red Cross and the Veterans Affairs Office to help purchase the father’s airline ticket.

"As much as we want to go with him and attend the funeral, resources are the problem," said Ramon, adding that they would be very grateful if assistance were also provided to them.

He said there would be memorial service last night at the United Church of Christ in Kanat Tabla for the victim’s family and friends.

"I am deeply saddened by what happened to my first cousin, but we’re very proud that he died for a good cause. He sacrificed his life for the good of all. Though we’re sad, we’re also honored that a member of our family contributed to making this world more secure for all of us," Ramon said.

October 3, 2006

Marianas Variety: www.mvariety.com

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