War in Afghanistan claimed lives of 11 Guam soldiers throughout the years


Senior Master Sgt. Abraham Mora mourns the loss of his brother, Sgt. Samson Mora, at the Guam National Guard's Fallen Heroes Memorial Ceremony at the Barrigada Readiness Complex on May 27, 2021. Photo courtesy of Guam National Guard

Of the 2,354 U.S. service members who died in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom, 11 are from Guam.


The campaign involved the U.S. government's war on terrorism that began on Oct. 7 in response to the infamous Sept. 11 attacks that killed 3,000 in 2001.


Thousands of soldiers from the U.S. and allied nations had been deployed to Afghanistan during the 20-year war. Ironically, the costly war ended in the return of the Taliban, the regime toppled by the U.S.-led forces.


Besides the 11 fatalities in Afghanistan, six other Guamanians died in Iraq.


On March 20, 2003, in the face of Iraq's resistance to open inspections by UN weapons inspectors, the U.S. and coalition forces launched Operation Iraqi Freedom , a combined air and ground assault. U.S. troops seized Baghdad after just 21 days.


Guam ranked higher than any state in its per capita enlistment rates. According to the U.S. census, one of 20 Guam residents is a military veteran.


In Afghanistan and Iraq, Guam’s casualty rates have been 450 percent higher than the national average based on figures from the Washington Post’s “Faces of the Fallen” project, which compiled the profiles of those who died during the war.


The Guam National Guard held its Annual Fallen Heroes Memorial Ceremony at the Barrigada Readiness Complex on May 27, 2021. Photo courtesy of GUNG

Following is the list of soldiers from Guam who died during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan:


Sgt. Eugene M. Aguon, 23, Mangilao

Branch: Army

Unit: 1st Battalion, 294th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Fort Juan Muna, Guam

Incident: May 16, 2013: Died in Kabul, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their unit with a vehicle borne improvised explosive device.


Spec. Dwayne W. Flores, 22, Sinajana

Branch: Army

Unit: 1st Battalion, 294th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Fort Juan Muna, Guam

Incident: May 16, 2013: Died in Kabul, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their unit with a vehicle borne improvised explosive device.


Pfc. Jaysine S. Petree, 19, Yigo

Branch: Army

Unit: 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Fort Richardson, Alaska;

Incident: Died Sept. 24, 2010 near COP Carwile, Afghanistan, while traveling between Ghanzi and Bagram Airfield, when her military vehicle was attacked with an improvised explosive device.


Sgt. Joshua A. Lukeala, 23, Yigo, Guam

Branch: Army

Unit: 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.

Incident: Jun 7, 2010: Died of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their vehicle with a makeshift bomb in Konar, Afghanistan.


Petty Officer Second Class Anthony M. Carbullido, 25, Agat

Branch: Navy

Unit: Naval Hospital Corps School in Great Lakes, Ill.

Incident: Aug 8, 2008: Killed when his convoy encountered a makeshift bomb in Sangatesh, Afghanistan.


Maj. Henry S. Ofeciar, 37, Agana Heights

Branch: Army

Unit: 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.

Incident: Aug 27, 2007: Died at Forward Operating Base Naray, Afghanistan, from wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit during combat operations in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.


Sgt. Samson A. Mora, 28, Dededo

Branch: Army

Unit: 1st Battalion, 294th Infantry Regiment, Guam Army National Guard,

Incident: Jul 10, 2008: Killed in Babo Kheyl, Afghanistan, when vehicle was hit by a makeshift bomb.


Sgt. Brian S. Leon Guerrero, 34, Hagatna

Branch: Army

Unit: 1st Battalion,294th Infantry Regiment, Guam Army National Guard,

Incident: Jul 10, 2008: Killed in Babo Kheyl, Afghanistan, when vehicle was hit by a makeshift bomb.


Maj. Henry S. Ofeciar, 37, Agana Heights

Branch: Army

Unit: 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.

Incident: Aug 27, 2007: Died at Forward Operating Base Naray, Afghanistan, from wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit during combat operations in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.


Sgt. Gregory D. Fejeran, 28, Barrigada, Guam

Branch: Army

Unit: 1st Battalion, 294th Infantry Regiment, Barrigada, Guam

Incident: March 5, 2007: Died of injuries sustained during a vehicle roll-over Dire Dawa, Ethiopia, Afghanistan


Sgt. Christopher J.C. Fernandez, 28, Dededo

Branch: Army National Guard

Unit: 1st Ba ttalion, 294th Infantry Regiment, Barrigada, Guam

Incident: March 5, 2007: Died of injuries sustained during a vehicle roll-over in Dire Dawa, Ethopia, Afghanistan

Marie Fernandez honors her son Sgt. Christopher Fernandez during the Fallen Heroes Memorial ceremony at the Guam National Guard Barrigada Readiness Complex May 22, 2020. Photo courtesy of JoAnn Delfin/U.S. Army National Guard

Following is the list of Guam soldiers who died in Operation Iraqi Freedom:


Cpl. Jaygee Meluat, 24, Tamuning