11 Jul 2008

High ranking American Samoa soldier buried today in Leone

9:58 am on 11 July 2008

U.S. Marine, Lt. Col. Max A. Galea'i, the highest ranking Samoan military serviceman to lose his life in the war in Iraq, will be laid to rest today at his home in Leone village in American Samoa.

The Colonel's body was returned home yesterday onboard a military aircraft, accompanied by his wife and their four children.

Lt. Col. Galea'i, who served more than twenty years in the Marines, was killed in Iraq last month.

Some 250 people, including Gov. Togiola Tulafono,cabinet members, lawmakers, and traditional and religious leaders greeted the casket's arrival at the airport, where a short service was held before a funeral procession, led by police officers on motorcycles, took him for burial at his home village