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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, April 22, 2010

Soldier from Maui dies in Iraq

By William Cole
Advertiser Military Writer

A Maui man who worked two hotel jobs and then joined the Army for a better life died in Iraq on Sunday, his brother said yesterday.

Pfc. Charlie Antonio, 28, had been in the Army about a year and deployed from Colorado to Kuwait and then Iraq, said his younger brother, Marlon, 25.

Two soldiers went to the family's Kahului home early Monday morning to break the news, he said.

"Of course (we're) kind of shocked. It's like disbelief what happened," Marlon Antonio said.

His older brother "was a good person," he said. "He never smoked cigarettes or drank. What he (did) here before, he just worked, worked, worked. Two jobs. Two hotels."

Charlie Antonio had worked at the Grand Wailea Resort and the Four Seasons Maui, said his brother, who was not sure of the specific jobs Charlie performed.

"He wanted to do anything just to make his life better," which is why he joined the Army, his brother said.

The Pentagon said Antonio died in Annassar, Iraq, of injuries suffered in a noncombat-related incident. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team out of Fort Carson, Colo.

The details of what happened in Iraq are still being sorted out, Marlon Antonio said.

"We only know that he died because of a gunshot. But we don't know yet about what really happened, (or) how it happened," he said.

Charlie Antonio had gone to high school in the Philippines, his brother said. He came to Hawai'i around 1998.

On a separate matter, the Hawai'i National Guard said a wake for one of its soldiers who died in Iraq will be held tomorrow.

Pfc. Raymond N. Pacleb Jr., 31, of Pearl City, died on March 29 in Baghdad in what the Pentagon also classified as a noncombat incident.

Pacleb was a member of the Guard's Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 487th Field Artillery, 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

He volunteered to deploy with the Virginia Army National Guard's 229th Military Police Company as a unit supply specialist.

A wake will be held tomorrow at Mililani Downtown Mortuary at 20 S. Kukui St. The wake service will begin at 7 p.m. and the public viewing is scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m., officials said.

A service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, also at Mililani Downtown Mortuary. Burial will be at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Mililani Memorial Park.