PHOTOS: 1ST LT. JASON ASOOTAMA ATUATASI TOGI LAID TO REST
GOV. LOLO: “HE WAS OUR HERO”
Government leaders, military officials, family and friends gathered at the CCCAS church in Fagasa for the service remembering the life of U.S. Army 1st Lt Jason Asootama Atuatasi Togi —who served his family, church, village, his wife and the military.
Fallen Toa o Samoa, 1st Lt. Togi was married to Siosiana Togi and he’s the son of Alepapa and Jean Angela Togi. He died Aug. 26 in Hasan Karez, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. He was deployed to Afghanistan on July 4th this year.
Togi and his wife of less than a year, Siosiana, were based in Killeen, Texas.
The Fallen Toa o Samoa was laid to rest at the residence of his grandfather Atuatasi Talosaga in Fagasa yesterday afternoon. The two-day funeral service began on Wednesday with final burial services yesterday.
At the service, Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga said Togi defended and upheld the constitution of the United States of America. He noted that he did not just walk into the military, he knew very well the complication he was facing and he served his people the best way he could… “he’s our hero and we are here to celebrate his service to his people.“First Lt Jason, rest in peace.”
Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin stated that he did not come all the way from Washington DC to mourn the passing of Jason, rather he came to celebrate his life. He said to Jason’s parents, and his wife that Jason sacrificed his life to protect us, so we can continue to live as a free people.
Brigadier General of the US Army, Daniel L Karbler, who escorted the body of 1st Lt Togi also gave remarks, stating it was an honor to represent the US Army in paying the last respects to Jason.
“His fellow soldiers loved him, his fellow bosses, deeply respect him and his Battalion Commander considers him family. Jason is a great man, and his Battalion Commander said that he had a great sense of humor, was athletic and was a great leader in every aspect.
Family members stood behind his casket after being presented by the Army with Gold Star lapel pins. The pins are given to immediate Family members of service members killed in combat during active duty.
According to the program handed out at the service, Jason attended Le’atele Elementary School, Samoana High School, ASCC and Wentworth Academy in Missouri. Jason enlisted in the US Army in 2007 and following that he, earned an AA from Wentworth Academy along with a BA in Civil Engineering.
He was a Sunday school teacher, a CCCAS Fagasa youth leader and choir member.