Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, April 10, 2003

Maui soldier OK after combat injury

By Christie Wilson
Advertiser Neighbor Island Editor

A Maui soldier is recuperating at a hospital in Spain after being wounded in combat in Iraq.

Sgt. Felipe Omar Burgos is expected to be flown home after his condition stabilizes.
Sgt. Felipe Omar Burgos, 24, of the 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C., called his wife Sherene on Tuesday to tell her he had undergone surgery for a bullet wound to the chest and was not in pain. They spoke for only 10 minutes, and she said yesterday she still did not know the circumstances under which he was wounded.

The 82nd Airborne has been protecting U.S. supply lines and was involved in ousting paramilitary forces from the city of Samawah, about 150 miles south of Baghdad.

Burgos, a 1997 Maui High School graduate, is expected to be flown home after his condition stabilizes, said his wife, speaking from their home in Spring Lake, N.C.

 •  First Hawai'i troops heading home from war
 •  U.S. cautious amid jubilation: War not over, Rumsfeld warns
 •  Saddam's hometown expected to be last stand
 •  Capital's fall vindicates war plan
 •  Facts about the war

Sherene Burgos, 22, said she was informed several days earlier that her husband had been wounded, but Tuesday's call was the first time she had talked to him in about a month, though she had gotten several e-mail messages after her husband shipped out Feb. 15.

The two met while students at Maui Community College and married in January 2001.

Sherene Burgos, a 1998 Hilo High School graduate whose maiden name is Aki, said she had been avoiding the news and was trying to maintain calm during the fighting overseas, even after she learned her husband was wounded.

"He's fine, he's OK, he got surgery and he's good to go," she said.

The soldier's parents, Felipe and Linda Burgos of Pukalani, said they had been watching the news "continuously" since the war started. They haven't been able to talk to their son, but are relieved he won't be going back into battle.

"I'm just elated that he's coming home, and not in a body bag, and that the war is over for him," said Linda Burgos, of Kalihi, yesterday. "Unfortunately, for a lot of families that's not the case, and my heart goes out to them."