Guam Mourns Loss of Two Guardsmen
|Specialist Gregory D. Fejeran.|
|Specialist Christopher Fernandez.|
(Washington, D.C., March 8, 2007) Two Army National Guardsmen from Guam, Specialist Gregory D. Fejeran, 28, and Specialist Christopher Fernandez, 28, were killed in a vehicular accident while on duty in Ethiopia on March 6. A third guardsman from Guam, Sergeant Robert J. Balajadia, 37, was injured in the same accident and flown to Landstuhl, Germany for treatment.
All three servicemen belong to Team Charlie, 1st Battalion, 294th Infantry. Team Charlie, composed of 150 guardsmen from Guam, was deployed to Ethiopia in the Horn of Africa in February 2006 and is scheduled to return to Guam in May of this year. The soldiers are there in support of the Combined Joint Task Force and conduct operations and training in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Acting Governor of Guam Michael Cruz, M.D., who is also the commanding officer of the Guam Army National Guard Medical command ordered a state of mourning in Guam and that the U.S. and Guam flags be flown at half-mast in honor of their deaths until the day of their burial. Cruz also ordered that the flags continue to be flown at half-mast for one week past their interment in honor of all Guam's sons who have lost their lives in the War on Terror.
As reported on the Guam Governor’s website, Guam’s Governor Felix Camacho, who was en-route from Washington D.C. for meetings at the time of the announcement, stopped in Hawaii and met with all 126 members of Guam Guardsmen Team Delta, who are currently in training and slated to replace Team Charlie in Ethiopia. He met with them to thank them for their service and bravery.
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, combined, have several hundreds of sons and daughters who have served or are currently serving in all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. The deaths of Specialists Fejeran and Fernandez bring the number of deaths in the War on Terror from the Micronesia region to eighteen.