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Navy commander recalls Sinajana roots

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - Rear Admiral Peter Gumataotao says he is humbled to have made to the position that he's in today. He's now the man in charge for the U.S. Naval Forces in Korea, but before the military, Gumataotao spent his younger years in the village of Sinajana.

"Growing up in Guam, eating beetle nut in Guam, fishing and just doing the things we would do back home, certain roads bring you to a certain place and if you believe hard and work hard and your good to people, people treat you well.  And so I stand hear before you as a testament of many people through my lives," he announced.

He credits his mother and other family members for being great mentors before he moved to the mainland in 1976. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1981, and after dozens of assignments Gumataotao says he is glad that he is now close to home.

"It was such a great feeling just to stand there and you know the feeling when you come out of the airport and you go, 'Oh, I'm back home'. It's a wonderful feeling, it's a like you feel grounded again, you feel like you can let your hair down again and just look forward and anxious to be with family and to also eat all of the authentic Chamorro food," he explained.

He says his visit has brought back a lot of memories when he was a teenager attending Father Duenas Memorial School, saying, "What I do remember is the laughter and all the great nights that I had with my classmates, guys like Felix Camacho, Manny Crisostomo, Paul Sauder, they're all good friends of mine it was a small class, so the memory is jus the simple things that we did and one that stands out was weekends down at Cetti Bay and just having a barbecue pit and fishing in Father D and seeing Gil Quinanta do the fire walk across the fire place and I go, 'Dude, are you kaduku, or what?" he laughed.

The officer also encourages the community to build on what our ancestors left behind, saying, "How's it and Hafa Adai, and just to let everyone know out there that I think anyone that lives on Guam should know that we do carry a great legacy of what our previous generations have given us that opportunity to enjoy many things about life that's so free."

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