|From Saipan Tribune saipantribune.com
Kaipat, 21, killed in Afghanistan
By Haidee V. Eugenio Reporter
A 21-year-old Marine from the CNMI was killed while on combat patrol in Afghanistan on Wednesday, bringing to 16 the number of Commonwealth sons and daughters who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the wars against terror since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Ramon Taisakan Kaipat, born and raised on Saipan, died as a result of “multiple injuries” from an improvised explosive device during combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
He was a member of a dismounted patrol that was struck by an IED while on combat patrol.
Taisakan belonged to the 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion of the 1st Marine Division out of Camp Pedleton in California.
The late Marine is the son of Pete Somorang Kaipat and Sinforosa Taisakan Kaipat, both now living in Tacoma, Washington.
“The last time I saw him was in 2005 before he left for the States. I burst into tears. I didn't know what to say, I didn't know what to do or think when I heard the news that our nephew was killed. I just wish I was there with my sister during this time,” Kaipat's aunt Maria Taisakan told Saipan Tribune in an interview shortly before the family was to bury another member of the family on Saipan yesterday afternoon.
Taisakan, 42, is the youngest sister of the late Marine's mother.
She and their relatives on Saipan were preparing for the funeral of her aunt, Catalina I. Kapileo, a sister of her father, when they got a call late Wednesday night.
“I couldn't express my feelings because we're in the middle of preparations for the burial of my aunt when we heard of another death in the family,” Taisakan said in an interview at her late aunt's house in San Jose.
Taisakan said the late Marine and his family used to live in Garapan before they left for Washington State.
Kaipat is one of three children. He has a younger brother and an older sister.
Taisakan said her nephew attended Oleai Elementary School, Hopwood Junior High School, and Marianas High School.
“But he completed his high school in Tacoma. Then he entered the Marines,” Taisakan said.
Taisakan said her nephew was “very helpful and caring.”
“I miss his smile. Even if you scold him, he'd smile and apologize. We have a tight family. We look after each other; and my nephew was very helpful and caring. We will all miss him,” the teary-eyed Taisakan said.
She said as of yesterday afternoon, her sister, brother-in-law, and Kaipat's sister and brother were on their way to Maryland to greet the body and bring it to Tacoma, Washington where the late Marine may be buried.
“Now, we are holding the rosary for two of our family members,” Taisakan added.
Her sister, former representative Malua Peter, confirmed Thursday morning that they received the news of Kaipat's death around 11:30pm Wednesday night, Saipan time.
“I really don't know what to feel. It's sad, especially right now I am in the wake of another relative,” Peter, also a former member of Northern Marianas College's Board of Regents, told Saipan Tribune Thursday morning.
Peter's younger sister is the mother of Kaipat.
The U.S. Marine Corps extended its “heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the family and friends of our fellow Marine who have suffered this loss and is committed to providing full support for their needs.”
Delegate Gregorio Kilili Sablan (Ind-MP), upon hearing the news, said he's “saddened to learn of the loss of another of our own in the war in Afghanistan.”
“Marine Corps Lance Corporal Ramon Taisacan Kaipat, a hero, gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation. I know that there is little that I can say that will lessen Lance Corporal Kaipat's family for the pain and grief of a loss so overwhelming, but I extend my condolences and deepest sympathies to the family for the loss of their son and for their own sacrifices.
“May God bless Lance Corporal Kaipat and the Taisacan and Kaipat families,” Sablan added.
Taisakan said that Kaipat was just one of her many relatives serving in the U.S. military.
“In fact, one of my brothers' son just came back from Afghanistan last month,” she said.
Gov. Benigno R. Fitial and Lt. Gov. Eloy S. Inos, upon learning of Kaipat's passing, said with great sadness and heavy hearts, they join the CNMI people in mourning “the loss of one of our own sons in uniform, USMC Lance Corporal Ramon Taisakan Kaipat.”
Fitial and Inos, in a statement, said Kaipat, in choosing a career in the prestigious U.S. Marine Corps, “demonstrated his willingness and determination to live a life of discipline and personal sacrifice so that all citizens of our country would be able to live in freedom and security.”
“In choosing this noble path in his life, he exemplified his undeniable strength of character and his patriotic courage and fortitude to carry through,” they said.
The governor and lieutenant governor said, “From his humble beginnings as an island boy, to his service on the international warfront, Lance Corporal Kaipat lived his life on the principles of duty, honor, and country.”
“In this time of sorrow, we extend our sincerest condolences and prayers to the family and friends of Lance Corporal Kaipat. Rest assured that his life of service to defend our freedom, our Commonwealth, and our country, will not be forgotten,” Fitial and Inos added.
Rep. Ray Yumul (R-Saipan) said his deepest sympathy goes to the bereaved family. Yumul himself was deployed to the Middle East as a member of the 442nd Division of the U.S. Army Reserve's 100th Infantry Battalion.
“He sacrificed his life to protect the citizens of Afghanistan and defend against this war on terrorism. We should never forget his sacrifice,” Yumul said.
Besides Kaipat, the 15 other men and women from the CNMI who lost their lives while serving in the wars against terror include: Army Sgt. Yihgyh “Eddie” L. Chen (April 4, 2004), Army SSgt. Wilgene Lieto (Oct. 31, 2005), Army Spc. Derence W. Jack (Oct. 31, 2005), Army Sgt. Jesse J. Castro (Dec. 6, 2006), Marine LCpl Adam Q. Emul (Jan. 29, 2007), Army SPC Leeroy A. Camacho (Feb. 9, 2007), Army PFC John D. Flores (May 3, 2007), Army PFC Victor M. Fontanilla (May 17, 2007), Army Spc. Joe Junior G. Charfauros (June 20, 2007), Navy Seaman Anamarie San Nicolas Camacho (Oct. 22, 2007), Army Sgt. Brian S. Leon Guerrero (July 10, 2008), Army SSgt. Julian F. Manglona (Oct. 9, 2008), and Air Force SrA Audra P.M. Winkfield (June 19, 2009), Marine Cpl. Dave Michael Maliksi Santos (2010), and Sgt. George Joseph Affatica Sablan (Feb. 10, 2012).
A month after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on U.S. soil, the U.S. and Great Britain invaded Afghanistan in response. Kaipat is one of the more than 6,000 U.S. men and men who have lost their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq since then.
|From The Seattle Times seattletimes.com
Obituary: Family recalls serious, fun sides of Marine Ramon Kaipat
Lance Cpl. Ramon Kaipat, a 22-year-old Marine from Tacoma, was killed Wednesday in Afghanistan.
By Christian Hill
The News Tribune
Ramon Kaipat saw opportunity in the Marine Corps when his family moved to Tacoma from Saipan in the Western Pacific in 2004.
His cousin, Courtney Taisakan, recalled Lance Cpl. Kaipat inquiring about his own experiences in the Marines and that he dropped a lot of weight to meet the Corps' rigorous physical standards.
Lance Cpl. Kaipat graduated from Mount Tahoma High School in 2007 and enlisted in 2008.
"He looked up to the Marines," said Taisakan, who served from 2006 to 2010.
Lance Cpl. Kaipat, 22, died Wednesday in combat in the Helmand province of Afghanistan, the Department of Defense announced Thursday. He was a rifleman assigned to 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, Calif. It was his second combat deployment.
Taisakan, who lives with Lance Cpl. Kaipat's parents in Tacoma, was awakened by a knock at the door early Wednesday.
"When I saw their uniforms through the peephole, I knew something was wrong," he said, referring to the casualty-notification officers.
He said Lance Cpl. Kaipat loved music and spending time with his large family."He had a serious side to him," he said. "From a glance, you might not think he was very social. He was very open to his family, and he was a comedian. Very fun-loving, but he had that man-of-the-house training from his father."
Lance Cpl. Kaipat's aunt, Maria Taisakan, told the Saipan Tribune she heard the news as she was preparing to bury Lance Cpl. Kaipat's great aunt on the island.
"Now, we are holding the rosary for two of our family members," she said.
She added: "I miss his smile. Even if you scolded him, he'd smile and apologize."
Lance Cpl. Kaipat is survived by his parents, Pete and Sinforosa Kaipat; a brother, Pedro; and a sister, Pearllita. They were on the East Coast on Thursday to escort his body home. Services are pending.
|From Guam PDN guampdn.com
Family awaits fallen son: Marine's body en route to Washington state home
1:34 AM, Apr. 15, 2012
The family of a Marine from Saipan who was killed in Afghanistan is waiting for their son and brother to return home.
The body of Ramon T. Kaipat, 22, is expected to arrive in Maryland on Saturday, East Coast time. Ramon Kaipat will then return to Tacoma, Wash., where his family moved from Saipan in 2004.
"I want to see him so badly," said Pearlitta Kaipat, the soldier's older sister, who traveled with her parents and younger brother to the East Coast to wait.
The lance corporal died Wednesday during combat operations in the Helmand province of Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, Calif. It was his second combat deployment.
The last time Ramon Kaipat's sister saw him was for his 22nd birthday, last October. The Marine was back in Washington state from Camp Pendleton, Calif., where he was stationed. It was shortly before he left for Afghanistan.
Ramon Kaipat was a proud Marine, but he was humble, too, his sister said. "We gave him a birthday party and he was thankful for it, but he said he didn't want a party," Pearlitta Kaipat, 25, said. "He wanted the family together."
Ramon Kaipat graduated from high school in 2007. He was fond of sketching, playing football, and music, his sister said. The Marine's death was the 42nd of Micronesia-region sons and daughters killed since U.S. military operations began as a result of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks more than 10 years ago.
The family learned of the death early Wednesday morning when Marines in uniform arrived at their doorstep before the sun rose.
"Even though I saw them there, I still couldn't believe it," said Pearlitta Kaipat. "My mind was blank."
Soon after the Marines left, the family started calling relatives -- in Hawaii, Virginia, Saipan, and all over.
The soldier's aunt, Maria Malua Peter, who lives in Saipan, said she learned of the death as she was planning her sister's funeral. "It's kind of a double whammy for everyone," she said. There will be a memorial Mass for the Marine on Friday, and rosary will be combined with his aunt's. "It's hard on everyone," Peter said.
Rosary service for Ramon Kaipat has started in Washington state.
Though Ramon Kaipat left Saipan several years ago, one thing sticks out in his aunt's mind. "I can't forget his smile," Peter said. "I can just picture him with his big smile."
Ramon Kaipat is survived by his father, Pedro; his mother, Sinforosa; his brother, Pedro Jr.; and his sister, Pearlitta.