Army 1st Lt. Jason Togi
Died August 26, 2013 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom
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.
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, and 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.
Courtesy of Joyetter Feagaimaalii-Luamanu American Samoa News
More than 100 Family members, friends and fellow Soldiers with the “Black Jack” Brigade paid their final respects to their fallen brother-in-arms during a remembrance ceremony Oct. 12 at the 73rd Street Chapel (1st Cavalry Division Memorial Chapel).
During the ceremony, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cav. Div., paid tribute to 1st Lt. Jason Togi, who was killed in action on Aug. 26 while serving as a combat engineer platoon leader in Hasan Karez, Afghanistan.
“The last thing I said to him before he deployed was, ‘I hope I see you when you come back,’” said Sgt. Genaro Sexton, a combat engineer with Company C, 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. “He was a good, hard worker. He always portrayed himself in a professional manner and was Family-oriented first. It was an honor and a privilege to serve under him.”
Togi, a Pago Pago, American Samoa native, attended Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, Mo. and graduated from the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps in 2010. He entered the Army the following year and graduated from the Engineer Officer Basic Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. in 2012.
He was assigned to Co. C, 2nd BSTB, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div., and deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, July 4, 2013, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
On that day, he died of injuries suffered when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device.
“Jason Togi paid the ultimate price for our freedom,” said Lt. Col. Michael Kielpinski, rear detachment commander for Task Force Pershing, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. “When he came to Fort Hood, he sought out the most challenging position he could find. He always had a positive attitude, was respected and admired by his peers, and led by example with a smile on his face.”
After Soldiers spoke and final respects were paid, a lone candle was lit in Togi’s memory and a three-volley salute was rendered.
“He will be truly missed,” Kielpinski said. “We’ll never forget our freedom and the ultimate sacrifice he made to protect it.”
Togi is survived by his wife, Siosiana Togi, and his parents Alipapa and Angela Togi.
By Sgt. Christopher Calvert, 1st ACB, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs