Quitugua remembered: Family, friends mourn son of Guam killed in Iraq
By Bryan C. Sualog
Pacific Daily News
June 23, 2008
Christopher Albert Quitugua was set to start a new stage in his life when his life ended in Iraq, said his father, Victor Quitugua.
The former Mangilao resident, who was working for a civilian security company, was killed in Iraq during a non-combat accident June 19, according to his family.
He was 28.
According to Christopher Quitugua's grandparents, Albert A. Quitugua and Maria C. Quitugua, their grandson and three others were in a vehicle in a convoy when a tire blowout caused the vehicle to flip.
He was working for a civilian company that protected military VIPs in Iraq.
"He is a very dedicated boy who had a lot of energy and was starting another phase of his life with his wife."
Christopher Quitugua was married in March.
He's the 26th son of Micronesia to be killed since the War on Terror began in 2001. More than 4,100 American service members have died in Iraq and Afghanistan in the war.
His grandparents said Quitugua grew up on Guam and attended George Washington High School, but moved to the U.S. mainland to join his father in Los Angeles to finish out his senior year.
Maria Quitugua said her grandson loved to cook and attended culinary school for two years.
"When he got tired of that, he told his dad he was going to join the Army," she said.
4 years in the Army
Quitugua served four years in the Army. During his tour of duty, he went to both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Before leaving for Iraq, he was living in Miami with his father.
Maria Quitugua said she raised her grandson, so his death is especially difficult for her.
She said when her grandson was in middle school, he went to live with his parents in Arizona, but would call and ask to come back to Guam because he missed his grandmother and grandfather. She said he would call her and say, "Grandma, send me a ticket. I want to go to Guam. I don't like it here."
Maria Quitugua said it had been almost two years since she had seen her grandson. She spoke to him on Father's Day.
Christopher Quitugua was due to visit Guam this week.
Victor Quitugua said funeral arrangements for his son were still being made.
Gov. Felix Camacho expressed his condolences to the Quitugua family on Saturday. Delegate Madeleine Bordallo issued a statement yesterday.
"My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the late Christopher Quitugua, most especially to his wife, Cari, during this very difficult time," Bordallo said. "Christopher's service to our nation and our island will be honored and remembered always."