July 21, 2008 – As reported in the Palau Horizon and PIR, Palau President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. announced that a Palauan soldier based in Guam was seriously injured in Afghanistan. Guam local news, the Department of Defense and the Office of Insular Affairs website had previously announced the soldier to be from Guam, not noting that Specialist Kalani Echang was originally from Palau. President Remengesau announced that Specialist Echang now lives on Guam but his mother sill lives in Palau.
Specialist Kalani Echang was injured on July 10 in Afghanistan, in an incident when his unit’s vehicle truck struck an improvised explosive device. Two of his fellow soldiers from the Guam Army National Guard were killed in the same incident. The President added that he received reports that Spc. Echang is now recuperating from his injuries.
Spc. Echang, 25, is to be transferred to the Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii and is a member of the 3rd Platoon, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 294th Infantry, Guam Army National Guard that deployed to Afghanistan in January.
The Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs honors the brave men and women of the insular areas who give such sacrifices in the War on Terror and is also appreciative and proud to recognize all who serve or have served in all branches of the United States Armed Forces.