Washington, D.C. (September 5, 2007) — U.S. Army Major Henry "Hank" San Nicolas Ofeciar, 37, of Agana, Guam, and two Pennsylvania National Guardsmen, Sgt. 1st Class Scott Ball, 38, and Sgt. Jan Argonish, 26, were killed Monday, August 27, 2007 in Afghanistan. The three men were part of small teams that help train and advise military and police forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Major Henry Ofeciar died at Forward Operating Base Naray, Afghanistan from wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit during combat operations in Jalalabad. Ofeciar had been assigned to the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas.
In a ceremony at Fort Riley, Kansas, soldiers and families honored these three soldiers and other recent casualties who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. "The fallen soldiers we honor here today are more than just names. They are heroes who worked within their teams to accomplish amazing results, to bring peace and security to a troubled nation."
"He passed away doing what he loved, defending freedom," said Ofeciar's mother, Agnes San Nicolas Rillera. Ofeciar was embedded with the Afghan police, helping them and the Afghan army on matters of security. He was proud of what he did and volunteered to be deployed, family members said. Rillera says her son, a decorated Army officer, volunteered to be deployed to the Middle East just as he did twice in the mid-1990's for peacekeeping missions in Bosnia.
Ofeciar, the oldest of six, graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in 1988 and joined the U.S. Army ROTC program at the University of Guam where he excelled, and became commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in 1994. He went on to obtain his master's at Syracuse University in New York, double-majoring in finance and public administration. Ofeciar continued to strive for excellence and in 2004 was promoted to the rank of major.
He had hoped to get married sometime next year.
Major Ofeciar is the 11th son of Guam and the 26th son of the Micronesia region (see all) to die in the War on Terror. The Department of the Interior's Office of Insular Affairs remembers and honors the brave sons and daughters of the insular areas who offer up the ultimate sacrifice in the War on Terror. The Office of Insular Affairs also recognizes that hundreds of sons and daughters of the Insular Areas currently serve in the War on Terror in all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.