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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 12:52 p.m., Monday, July 18, 2005

American Samoa soldier killed in Iraq

Advertiser Staff

Staff Sgt. Frank F. Tia'i
An Army reservist from American Samoa who was killed in Iraq over the weekend has been identified as Staff Sgt. Frank F. Tia'i of Pago Pago.

Tia'i, who was attached to Company C, 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry, was killed by a roadside bomb Saturday evening, Hawai'i time.

Tia'i was on patrol, traveling in the third vehicle of a convoy along Route Raider outside of logistics support area Anaconda when a homemade bomb exploded beneath his vehicle.

Tia'i, 46, was a member of the battalion for more than 20 years. He became the first of its soldiers to die in Iraq and the fourth member of the 29th Combat team to be killed in Iraq.

He is survived by his wife and two children, a 19-year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter. His family was notified by Army Reserve officials in American Samoa early yesterday morning.

Before he was killed, Tia'i was hoping to return home to Samoa sometime this week on rest and recuperation leave, Army officials said. Funeral arrangements are pending.