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U.S. Department of the Interior - Office of Insular Affairs
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Palau Loses another Son in Iraq



U.S. Army Corporal Meresebang Ngiraked

Washington D.C. - June 14 – The Department of Defense announced the death on June 10 of three U.S. soldiers in Karbala, Iraq, one of whom was U.S. Army Corporal Meresebang Ngiraked, 21, of Koror, Palau. They died as a result of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device. The other two killed with Cpl. Ngiraked were Cp. Llythaniele Fender, 21 of Medical Lake, Washington and Spc. Adam Herold, 23, of Omaha, Nebraska. Cpl. Ngiraked was assigned to the 5th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Fort Lewis, Washington.

Ngiraked is the second from Palau to have been killed in action in Iraq. U.S. Marine Corporal JayGee Meluat, 24, also a native of Palau, was killed by enemy fire in Al-Anbar province, Iraq, on Sept. 13, 2004.

Ngiraked's death marks the 23rd casualty from the Micronesia region since 2001. 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 thousands of sons and daughters who currently serve and are in all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces including the National Guard and Reserves.

THE FALLEN FROM DOI'S INSULAR AREAS
The number of casualties by islands since 2001 (9/11) and the War on Terror:

  • American Samoa: 14

  • Guam: 9

  • U.S. Virgin Islands: 7

  • Federated States of Micronesia: 6

  • Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands: 5

  • Republic of Palau: 2

  • Marshall Islands: no casualties to date

  • Puerto Rico:  Has had numerous casualties and is not reported here since it is not under OIA jurisdiction

The Guam Pacific Daily News published a June 14 tribute to Micronesia's Fallen, see it here.