Washington, D.C., (May 20, 2008) - According to Press Release from Congressman Faleomavaega’s Office, SFC Sene Polu was presented the Purple Heart and Combat Action Badge in May 12 by Faleomavaega on behalf of the United States Army as a result of the injuries he received while serving in Iraq.
The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President to those who have been wounded or killed while serving with the U.S. military. The Combat Action Badge or (CAB) provides special recognition to Soldiers who personally engage the enemy, or are engaged by the enemy during combat operations, and performing satisfactorily in accordance with the prescribed rules of engagement.
On April 2, 2008, Platoon Leader Sene Polu was injured along with his Platoon Radio Telephone Operator (RTO) and an Iraqi interpreter assigned to his unit when his patrol encountered an improvised explosive device or IED while conducting combat operations in the Diyala Province, Iraq.
SFC Sene Polu is the son of Mr. Pe’a Polu and Mrs. Avalele Polu, of Faleasao, Manu’a. He is assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Field Artillery, which is part of the 4th Brigade (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), 2nd Infantry Division headquartered at Fort Lewis, Washington. The 4th SBCT deployed to Iraq in April 2007 and is operating in Diyala Province, Iraq.
In presenting the military awards, Congressman Faleomavaega was assisted by U.S. Army Captain Phillip Radzikowski from SFC Polu’s unit in Fort Lewis, Washington. Also in attendance during the ceremony in Congressman Faleomavaega’s office were SFC Polu’s wife Rosie Polu and their two children – Charlie and Chastity, YN1 (AW/EXW) Alex A. Amosa who is on assignment at the Pentagon, Petti Matila who is the current American Samoa Intern in Senator Daniel Inouye’s office, Rosia Curry, and Faatalivale Te’o-Lewis from the local Samoan community in Washington, DC.
Congressman Faleomavaega and CSM Savusa, the highest ranking Samoan enlisted man, visited SFC Polu in April. Faleomavaega was amazed at Polu’s speedy recovery.
“Based on what I saw when I first visited Sene with the seriousness of his injuries, it was unbelievable and almost surreal for me to see Sene walking on his own strength into my office. Sene has undergone about 15 surgeries over a very short period of time and he may still have more to go through. Truly, his amazing progress towards recovery is nothing short of a miracle.”
“I was truly honored to be part of this ceremony. Sene is a real trooper, a true Toa’ o Samoa,” Faleomavaega added.