An explosive in Tali, Iraq, killed Talofofo native Richard Jr. DeGracia
Naputi, 24, a specialist in the Army, on Wednesday became the 11th son of
the Micronesia region to die in the current war in Iraq.
Naputi and Lt. Michael J. Cleary of Pennsylvania were killed when a homemade
bomb detonated near the Humvee they were in during combat operations,
according to the Department of Defense Web site.
Both soldiers were assigned to the 1st Battalion 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd
Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga.
Naputi's father, Richard Aguon Naputi, said his son's tour of duty was
scheduled to end next month. The younger Naputi was planning to leave the
military next month to return home to start a family with his wife Brianne
and to join the Guam Police Department.
As of Dec. 22, at least 2,161 members of the U.S. military have died since
the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to the AP report.