Washington, DC – June 11, 2007: As recently reported in Samoa News, U.S. Army Private First Class Timothy Vimoto, 19, died on June 5 in Korengal Valley, Afghanistan while conducting foot patrol operations. He was assigned to B Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade in Caserma Ederle, Italy when deployed. He is the second American Samoan to be killed in Afghanistan and the 13th of American Samoan ancestry to have died since the beginning of the War on Terror.
“It is with heavy heart that I inform you of Pfc. Timothy Vimoto's sudden death in Korengal, Afghanistan," said Command Sgt. Maj. (CSM) Iuniasolua Savusa in a message to Samoa News and other Samoans in the military. Savusa himself is American Samoan.
Savusa is with the United States Army Europe and 7th Army (USAREUR) based in Heidelberg, Germany, which has jurisdiction over 234 Army installations throughout Europe that includes approximately 158,000 military and civilian personnel and their families. Vimoto "was conducting dismounted patrol operations when he received small arms fire," said Savusa, adding that the fallen Toa o Samoa is the oldest son of Command Sgt. Maj. Isaia "Ace" Vimoto, who recently returned from a tour to Afghanistan.
"Please remember the Vimoto family in your prayers tonight," he said.
The first Samoan soldier to die in Afghanistan was Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael T. Fuga, killed September last year in the city of Kandahar.
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 have served or are currently serving in all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.
For more information, please refer to the attached release from Congressman Faleomavaega.