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First U.S. Air Force recruits from Am Samoa since COVID pandemic

future Airman [Kalepo] Hemingway AND future Airman [Esther] Taufa’asau

Honolulu, HAWAII — US Air Force Pacific Operations Recruiter, TSgt. Mario Soriano Jr., posted on his Facebook page, a message to “welcome and congratulate my first two recruits from American Samoa, future Airman [Kalepo] Hemingway (right) and future Airman [Esther] Taufa’asau for successfully entering the Air Force Delayed Entry Program-Hawaii.”

“They flew all the way from American Samoa just to join the Air Force,” TSgt. Soriano wrote in his post. “Way to represent... American Samoa & the United States of America. It’s been over a year and a half since any recruit has been able to join the Air Force from the island due to COVID restrictions.”

Soriano later told Samoa News via email from Hawaii, where he is based, that the recruits from American Samoa arrived on Aug. 13th.

His Facebook posting and photos have been shared by others on social media and reposted to their accounts along with congratulatory messages to the recruits. The families in American Samoa send the recruits love and prayers.