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U.S. Department of the Interior - Office of Insular Affairs
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In Two Weeks CNMI Loses Yet another Son, the Fifth



pr_LeeroyCamachoLess than two weeks after losing a fourth son in the War on Terror, Saipan has now suffered the loss of her fifth son in Iraq.  U.S. Army Specialist Leeroy Apatang Camacho, 27, of Kagman, Saipan, lost his life on February 9, while in the line of duty.  U.S. Army Specialist Camacho is from Bravo Company 1-12, First Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.  Specialist Camacho leaves behind a young family of three sons and his wife.

The news of Saipan’s losing her fifth son comes also within a week of yet another son of Saipan, Private First Class Josh Stein, 23, receiving a Purple Heart and Bronze Star (with a V device) for courageous actions taken while serving in Iraq.  PFC Stein is currently stationed at Fort Hood, Texas.

Specialist Camacho died on the eve of and PFC Stein received his award shortly after the February 8 oversight hearing on the CNMI by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Capitol Hill.  At that hearing Deputy Assistant Secretary David B. Cohen testified yet again in favor of granting the CNMI a non-voting delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, especially in light of the courageous service and sacrifices that are continually offered by sons and daughters of the Northern Mariana Islands.  “We must ensure that the people of the CNMI participate fully in decisions that will affect their future.  A better future for the people of the CNMI cannot be imposed unilaterally from Washington, D.C., ignoring the insights, wisdom and aspirations of those to whom this future belongs.”  Their service and sacrifice have perhaps never been as poignantly highlighted as during these past two weeks. 

The Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs remembers and honors these valiant dead and their surviving families, who offer up the ultimate in sacrifice in the War on Terror.  The seven insular areas under OIA jurisdiction have thousands of sons and daughters currently serving in all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.