Staff Sgt. Faoa V. Apineru (born December 5, 1975 in American Samoa – died July 2, 2007, Palo Alto in California) was assigned to Headquarters Company, 23rd Marines, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserve.
Apineru died July 2, 2007 in Palo Alto, California where he was receiving treatment and rehabilitation from injuries sustained in Iraq of 2005, while supporting combat operations.
Apineru joined the Marine Corps in 1996 and worked his way up to Communications Chief with his unit, Task Force Rhino. He was stationed at Camp Pendleton, 29 Palms, Guantanamo Bay, Okinawa, and Quantico. He was a 10 year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps who served two years in Iraq and was a retired Staff Sergeant. After his service in the Corps, he learned that his grandfather was also a Marine who served in World War II.
Apineru spent two years at the VA Palo Alto hospital for injuries he sustained in 2005 from his second tour that ended his career and almost claimed his life. He was known in the VA hospital as “the Mayor” – for being a hospitable and compassionate man who hosted barbecues for other residents and was a close brother to any vet going through a difficult time. His selflessness extended to the hospital staff, and he often created certificates of thanks to acknowledge their hard work.
With an athletic background that included marathon running and a black belt in karate, Apineru ventured into new territory with the clinic’s snowboarding trip to Colorado, and in April 2007, he took part in the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic. Just months later, in July, Apineru passed away in his sleep.
Source – DailyKos, MilitaryMen