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Pago Pago, AMERIAN SAMOA — The month of March is dedicated to celebrating and honoring the remarkable contributions that women have made to the history of this great nation.

Women's History Month is a time to reflect on the tireless efforts of women from all levels of society who have fought for gender equality, civil rights, and social justice — from suffragettes to civil rights activists, from scientists to artists, from educators to athletes, women have played a pivotal role in shaping the course of American history.

This month serves as a reminder of the critical and enduring legacy of women's contributions to our society. It inspires us to continue working towards a brighter, more equitable future for all.

Throughout the month of March, a tribute to honor the Samoan Women who have contributed to the history of the United States and continue to overcome challenges on their path to equality will be published by Samoa News in the spirit of community service and in commitment to our military women to honor their tautua.

Ua sili ofe le seuga, tautai a’e i nisi o tinā ma tama’ita’i mo lo latou sao aua lea ua fati magalo le ava nai Salemuliaga. Ua fa'apopo o ni aso ua, o aso folau ua le tu'ua. Tatou sailimalo fa’atasi ma le Atua e a'e ai i fanua, tumau pea ia te ia lona viiga nei ma aso uma. O upu masani a le atunu’u, “E au le ina’ilau a tama’ita’i.” Ona ou manatua lea o le tala i le pa a Aloaloolela, ia auomanu fa'amoemoega uma.

Tautua tausa’afia ma le fiafia.

Soifua, Folāsāitu CW4 Sorepa Fata Vaofanua Thomas, US Army


Latoya, widely known in the Samoan community as Salaia, is no stranger to American Samoa, the Pacific Islands, and the United States Army as a soldier-athlete. Today marks eight years of her service to this great nation. She hails from the villages of Iliili and Leone, American Samoa.

Salaia was selected in 2017 as the Army's female athlete of the year and was introduced on 27 March 2018 at the Association of the U.S. Army's Global Force Symposium and Exhibition in Huntsville, Alabama.

A press release from the U.S. Army Material Command states that Salaia has been a member of the All-Army Volleyball Team for five years and has been selected to the All-Armed Forces Volleyball Team every year. She has won gold medals for the Army during Armed Forces Tournaments, a national gold medal for USA Volleyball, and a gold medal for the American Samoa National Volleyball Team. Additionally, she was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame at the University of Nevada, where she attended on an athletic scholarship to play volleyball and basketball. Finally, she was one of the Army's top recruiters when she was assigned to Raleigh, North Carolina.

Salaia is a product of her environment and was raised by her entire Salave'a family. She is a living testimony that raising a child takes a village.

She is currently assigned as a Material Manager to the 377th Theater Support Command in Houston, Texas.