Monday, September 27, 2010

Teenage soldier dies

By Janela Buhain from

A TEENAGE soldier from Guam died from a bomb attack in Afghanistan on Friday raising to 18 the total number of fatalities here since the U.S.-led war in Iraq and Afghanistan began seven years ago.

The Department of Defense identified the fallen Guam soldier as U.S. Army Private First Class Jaysine Petree of Yigo.

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, DELAWARE--Soldiers carry the body of Army Pfc. Jaysine P.S. Petree of Yigo, Guam upon arrival at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware on Sunday. According to the Department of Defense, Petree, 19, was killed while serving in Afghanistan. Guam Acting Governor Mike Cruz declares a state of mourning and ordered all flags to be half-flown to honor the fallen soldier. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Acting Governor Mike Cruz declared a state of mourning and ordered all flags to be flown in half-mast to honor Petree.

Petree joined the U.S. Army straight out of high school last year because she wanted to relocate her family to the U.S. mainland.

“It was our goal together that we were going to have a big house in the mainland and bring our family there,” said Jam Petree, the victim’s younger brother.

After moving to Guam from the Philippines in 2002, the siblings promised each other to work together to help their family.

“We just wanted to be successful in life. That was our main goal together,” the brother said.

He flew back to Guam from the Philippines upon learning about his sister’s tragic death.

“My uncle called me because my mom couldn’t speak,” he said. “She was in shock.”

Petree’s body was flown to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware yesterday Guam time. But it’s still unknown as of press time when it will reach Guam.

Petree is Guam’s 18th casualty since the start of the War on Terror in 2003 and Micronesia’s 37th casualty.

“Governor Camacho and I join the family, friends and the people of Guam in mourning the loss of U.S. Army PFC Jaysine Petree. We will forever be grateful for the sacrifice she paid on behalf of our freedom and liberty. She will always be remembered and honored in our hearts,” the acting governor said in a statement.

Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo also expressed her condolences: “I am deeply saddened by the passing of PFC Jaysine Petree. She made the ultimate sacrifice in answering the call of duty, and I join our island in mourning the loss of PFC Petree. I extend my most sincere sympathies and prayers to her family, friends and loved ones.”

Rosaries are being held nightly at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Yigo at 7:30 pm.

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