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Micronesian Military

Micronesian War Dead 2 (by Everything Everywhere)
Some of the Micronesian fallen

I want to post this before I leave Micronesia and forget about it.

While walking through the Guam airport I was struck by a large sign that listed the Micronesian servicemen and women who died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I knew that Guam and CNMI had soldiers in the US military. While I was in American Samoa I was frequently reminded that American Samoa had the highest percentage of enlistment of any US territory or state. One man from American Samoa and Guam were killed while I was in both places and it made the headlines of the local papers.

What I didn’t know, and sort of shocked me, was that FSM, the Marshalls, and Palau were represented in the US Military. All three countries have no military and their citizens can join the US military. Many do because it offers them a better career path than anything they could have at home. It was not uncommon to see American flags and Army bumper stickers on the cars in all of these places.

Palau has had three men killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. On a per capita basis, they have probably made a greater sacrifice than any state or city in the US….and they are technically not even Americans. I’m sure no one in the US would really fault them if they wanted to sit this one out, especially considering most Americans have never heard of these places and don’t know they even exist.

It was just something I wanted to pass along…

  • 4 Comments... What's your take?

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  1. far from home says:

    It is not simply the lack of opertunities at home that compels us to enlist and serve in the US military. We owe America a lot for the help they gave us during, and after, WWII. The US does not have to share some of it's budget in education, health, and structural development in Micronesia – but they do anyways (even with almost no expectation of anything in return). The US could have simply retained the islands as territories as Australia and New Zealand tried to do with their Pacific mandates. But the US did not, and they continue to help us economicaly and diplomaticaly. We are proud to know that we wear the uniforms that Kennedy, Washington, Eisenhower, Patton, Powel, Mccain, Kerry, Shaggy, and Elvis (yea, even Elvis) wore in order to defend the US. That’s all I have to say about that. Sorry for writing so much.

    • student says:

      With all due respect, the people of Micronesia do not “owe” the United States anything. What the U.S. military is doing is taking advantage of a population of people who have been colonized to believe that the United States somehow cares about the islands in Micronesia, when in reality they are simply important strategic locations. Noone can say Micronesians owe anything to the United States when you look at the history of the military presence in the islands and how countless Micronesians have suffered and died under this colonial regime. We shouldn’t have to fight a war for a country in which we cannot even vote for president.

  2. Angelo says:

    The military spends a ton of money on recruitment out here. There are high schools where literally half the kids are in ROTC.


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About Gary Arndt

My name is Gary Arndt. In March 2007 I set out to travel around the world...
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