Jeungjin Na Kim
October 6, 2004
|Died in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, when his patrol was attacked by enemy forces using small arms fire.|
|Soldier from Hawaii killed in Iraq
HONOLULU — A soldier killed in Iraq last week was identified Monday as a 23-year-old private from Honolulu.
Pvt. Jeungjin Na Kim is the 15th soldier with ties to Hawaii to be killed since the war in Iraq started. He is the first soldier killed who listed a Hawaiin city as his home.
Kim died Oct. 6 in Ramadi when his patrol was attacked by enemy forces using small-arms fire, the Pentagon said in a news release.
He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery, 2nd Infantry Division, based at Camp Hovey, South Korea. His unit had been in Iraq since August on a scheduled one-year deployment.
Kim leaves behind his wife in Honolulu and a newborn son he never met.
Ayoung Kim said she gave birth to their son Sept. 7.
“He was so excited to have his son like you would never believe,” Ayoung Kim told television station KHON. “Most parents are excited but ... he was kind of lonely because he was an only kid and he always wanted a huge family.”
She said she spoke to her husband about six hours before he left on the Oct. 6 mission.
“He was the total strong one in the family,” she said. “I was always like that weak one that was always crying on the phone because he wasn’t here.”
Funeral services were scheduled at Sacred Heart Church in Waianae, with burial at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery in Kaneohe.
|Soldier gains U.S. citizenship posthumously
HONOLULU — A Hawaii solider was granted U.S. citizenship, more than two months after he was killed in Iraq.
Pvt. Jeung-jin Kim is the first person in Hawaii to posthumously receive citizenship, said David Gulick, Honolulu district director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Posthumous citizenship has been issued to 36 other service members around the country stemming from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Kim’s widow, A. Young Kim, accepted a certificate of citizenship for her husband in a ceremony Friday.
“I know he would have been happy,” she said. “We’d been talking about this for a long time.”
The South Korean-born Kim was killed Oct. 6 in an insurgent attack in Ramadi. He was 23.
Kim’s other posthumous awards include a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star and promotion to the rank of private first class.
“Jeung-jin was an individual who stood by the very principles by which this country was founded, and a soldier who wanted to protect our freedoms and serve our nation,” said Lt. Col. Don Degidio, chief of staff of the 25th Infantry Division (Light) at Schofield Barracks. “He was an unselfish and caring man.”
Degidio said Kim made the ultimate sacrifice for “his fellow soldiers, his wife, his newborn son, his family, and yes, his newly beloved country — the United States of America.”
Kim moved to Honolulu from South Korea seven years ago and married his wife in 2001. Kim is also survived by his 5-month-old son, Apollo Ikaika, who he never got to hold.
“I miss him more than anything,” his widow said. “There’s so much I want to tell him about our son, everything our son does. I wish my husband could see.”
A. Young Kim, who is a private first class in the Army, said one of the many reasons her husband wanted citizenship was the right to vote.
“He really wanted to be able to vote, but he wasn’t able to get his citizenship in time for this election,” she said.
Before he died, Kim convinced his wife, a longtime Bush supporter, to vote for Democratic challenger John Kerry, believing that he might get to come home sooner.
Kim, who had been in Iraq since early September, was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery of the 2nd Infantry Division, based at Camp Hovey, South Korea.
— Associated Press
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