In the ranks of the U.S. military, it is common to meet servicemembers who are proud of their family’s long history of military service. But statistically, no place in the United States sends a greater percentage of their young people to the U.S. military than American Samoa, a tiny U.S. territory in the South Pacific.
Demonstrating the Samoan tradition of military service, NBC 12 reports that 41 members of one Samoan family have joined the U.S. Army together:
At 17-years-old Feiloaiga Filivaa is the youngest of the group. He’s following in the footsteps of his older brother who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“He was my role model. I always looked up to him. Now I joined the Army just to make my family proud, and him proud,” Filivaa said….
30-year-old Joseph Tauiliili is the oldest in the group, and feels responsible to lookout for his younger family members.
“They have to look at me as a leader, and I have to be a role model to them,” Tauiliili said.
Samoans are found in both the active and reserve components of the U.S. military. Many serve in Army Reserve units based in American Samoa, which include both infantry and support units. For information, see the Army Reserve’s page on American Samoan units here.
thumbnail courtesy of NBC 12