March 18, 2009

The Kaselehlie Press

Nett, Pohnpei - The body of 19 year old Hawaii Army National Guard soldier Spc. Cwislyn Walter arrived at the Pohnpei International Airport on March 5 by military transport. A motorcade of dignitaries and military officials escorted her body to the Catholic Church in Kolonia where a memorial service was attended by hundreds of people. Father Frances Hezel, S.J. presided over the service.

Walter died in a non combat related traffic accident February 19 in Kuwait where she was deployed with the Headquarters Company, 29th Brigade Special Troops Battalion. Three other National Guard troops were injured in the accident. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Cwislyn was born in Chuuk, raised in Guam and in October of last year became a citizen of the United States.

On Friday, March 6 Cwislyn's body was laid to rest in Nett, Pohnpei in a burial service with full military honors.

Her parents, Kiwis and Conception Theodore Walter attended the burial ceremony in Pohnpei. Major General Vern Miyagi presented the flag to the grieving parents. She was posthumously awarded an Army Commendation and a Hawaii Army National Guard Medal of Valor.

An honor guard from the Guam Army National Guard provided a 21 gun salute and a bugler played taps before the flag that draped her casket was folded for the last time for presentation to her parents.

Iso Nahnken of Nett, Salvador Iriarte was in attendance as were the United States Ambassador to the FSM, Miriam Hughes and Congressman Eni Faleomavaega from American Samoa

At a memorial ceremony in Hawaii held on Wednesday, March 3, Major General Robert Lee, State Adjutant General, presented the State Medal of Valor to her parents. Hawaii's Governor Linda Lingle ordered flags to be flown at half staff on that day in honor of the young soldier.