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Toa o Samoa ask about availability of incentives for returning military

Goveror and First Lady with Toa o Samoa

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Local solders serving in Hawaii are asking if there are any government-implemented programs or initiatives specifically for military veterans or retirees who return home. This is just one of the issues raised when Governor Lemanu P. S. Mauga met with a group of Am Samoan service members serving in various branches of the military, for an open panel discussion.

A statement released yesterday highlighted fellow soldier Alex Lin who acknowledged Sergeant Adrianne Paselio who will be graduating with her Bachelor's degree and at that time will become an officer after participating in the Hawai’i Pacific University’s (HPU) ROTC Program.

Governor Lemanu extended his sincerest congratulations and added that SGT Paselio’s accomplishments, along with many other sons and daughters of Samoa, go to show their willingness to seek and attain a prosperous life. Furthermore, she not only takes upon herself her family name but also all of Samoa.

“Nothing comes free, all good things are accomplished through hardship, tears, sweat, blood; physically and mentally,” said Lemanu.

The audience questioned the governor asking if there are any government-implemented programs or initiatives specifically for military veterans or retirees who return home and want to work for the American Samoa Government.

Another issue cited by the soldiers on whether American Samoa looking into owning and operating its own aircraft for inter-island travel in the territory as well as a route to Hawai’i.

Furthermore they questioned the possibility for the United States Postal Service to have a centralized location for mail and parcel distribution on the eastern side of the island.

At the moment, the US postal service’s headquarters is located in Fagatogo with a branch in Leone.

Also they questioned whether there are any grants or incentives available from the Department of Education for the people in American Samoa to prepare and expose the youth to different curriculums directed towards furthering their education instead of being limited to the military. 

According to the statement there were suggestions for the Department of Education to host a college fair inviting various colleges and universities to provide High School students the opportunities to explore their options.

The soldiers also asked the governor for a government financial report available to the public for their viewing and understanding of how public funds are spent.

 “Following the last inquiry a request was made to better explain the citizenship status for Samoan people joining the military as it was not an easy process to obtain.”

 “Governor Lemanu responded to the majority of the questions with input from his panel which included Director Malemo Tausaga, Director Tuiafono Sua and Director Solia Mutini.

The statement did not specify the responses by the governor.

Soldiers in attendance, according to the press release, were: Alex Lin, SGT Tyrone Travers, LCpl. Kereti Faiai, LCpl. Ferrin Manuleleua, PO2 Jonah Tuato, LCpl. Daniel Taufagu, SGT Rapi Leota, Chris Tauleafeu, SGM Michael Moana, SGT Sheilajacinta Autele, Pene Vaisagote, SGT Taumafaalofi Elisara, Lt Col. James Faleafine, SGT Adrianne Paselio, Michael Tuimavave, Timoteo Solaita, CPT Agaalofa Tauane, SSG Bulamaiviti Amosa, SFC Toleafoa, SSG Faima Tua, 1SG Langkilde, Ioane Levaula, MAJ Helaman Fepulea’i.”