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Guam mourning latest military causalities

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SPC Dwayne Flores SPC Dwayne Flores
SGT Eugene Aguon SGT Eugene Aguon

by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Over the weekend the island was declared in a state of mourning after confirmation was received that two of our island heroes were killed in Afghanistan. They were part of the 600 - the largest deployment of the Guam Army National Guard in the island's history, sent to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

With boots on the ground about one month into their tour two of our local heroes were killed during a suicide car bomb attack in Kabul. Saturday evening they were identified as Guam Army National Guard Specialist Dwayne W. Flores of Sinajana and Sergeant Eugene M. Aguon of Mangilao. The two were part of convoy of coalition forces that was targeted by HezbeIslami, a radical militant group with ties to the Taliban.   

Late Saturday the Governor's Office confirmed their identities and declared the island in a state of mourning. The governor said "there are no words to describe the overwhelming grief of our island on this tragic day. May the Lord be with their parents and loved ones to give them strength."

Guam National Guard Maj. General Benny Paulino added that he has committed all resources necessary to take care of the families as they go through this most difficult time.

Issuing a statement from the nation's capitol Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo said, "These brave men made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and for our entire nation while serving in Afghanistan. We will be forever grateful for their service"

SPC Flores who is from Sinajana is back on American soil, his body arrived at Dover Air Force Base in Delware Sunday Guam time, where a dignified transfer of remains ceremony was held in his honor.  He was met by his mother and sister who were able to attend the brief ceremony.  22 year old Flores is a 2009 graduate of George Washington High School. After graduation he enlisted in the Guard and this was his first deployment. Family say he was promoted to the rank of E-4 just prior to his arrival to Afghanistan. Mass is being held nightly at the Cathedral's St Therese Chapel at six pm.

Meanwhile there's no word yet on whether Aguon is back on U.S. soil. He joined the military in 2006, and graduated from GW in 2007.

Rosaries are being said nightly at his family residence along Dimas Street in Mangilao. The Department of Defense has not yet released any official information related to these casualties.

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