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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, May 6, 2010

Maui soldier who died in Iraq arrives home


By Claudine San Nicholas
Maui News

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Charlie Antonio

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KAHULUI, Maui Family members wept Monday at Kahului Airport as the body of Army Pfc. Charlie Antonio arrived home in a casket draped with an American flag.

"We want very much to see him," Arlene Antonio said just before the arrival of an Air Force C-17 aircraft that carried her brother's body to Maui from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

The Defense Department said Antonio died April 18 in Annassar, Iraq, from injuries from a noncombat incident.

He is the second soldier with Hawai'i ties to die this year while serving in Iraq. He is the fifth soldier with Maui ties to die in the war.

Arlene Antonio said her family was told her brother died from a gunshot to the head, but no further details have been provided. They also were told a military investigation was continuing.

Antonio was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, based at Fort Carson, Colo.

He was born and raised in the Philippines and immigrated to Maui in 1999 at the age of 18 with his father. The two worked a variety of jobs, and saved money for about three years before they sponsored the rest of the immediate family to Maui.

"He was our hero, our family hero," Arlene Antonio said. "Now he's everybody's hero."