Marine Lt. Col. Max A. Galea’i (born December 12, 1965 of Pago Pago, American Samoa – died June 26, 2008 in Karmah, Iraq) was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, 3rd Marine Division, Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.
Galea’i graduated from Marist High School in 1983 and Oregon State University in 1988, where he went on to join the Marines out of college.
Galea’i died on June 26, 2008 while supporting combat operations in Karmah, Iraq. He is survived by his wife Evelyn and their four children.
He was the commanding officer of a Hawaii-based battalion of more than 1,000 Marines and sailors. Prior to his transfer to the Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Galea’i served in Virginia, California, Okinawa (Japan) and was on his second deployment to Iraq.
Galea’i is remembered as a friend, mentor, someone larger than life, and extremely bright but his first love was leading the Marines. He was a dedicated family man, a natural leader and a caring buddy who would never burden others with his problems.
Highlights & Awards:
- Bronze Star Medal
- Purple Heart
- Meritorious Service Medal
- Navy and Marine Corps Commendation
- Combat Action Ribbon
- Navy Unit Commendation
- Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation
- National Defense Service Medal
- Southwest Asia Service Medal
- Iraq Campaign Medal
- Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
- Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)
- Navy Sea Service Deployment
- Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
Source – CBS News, Honolulu Advertiser, Together We Served