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Amata visits Toa o Samoa at 8 military installations

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata is always delighted to meet up with Service Members from American Samoa, and with Congress out of session last week, she went on a whirlwind tour of eight major military installations in multiple states along the U.S. East Coast. 

 “Every military family in American Samoa can be so proud of the young men and women our islands have sent to serve the nation and the cause of freedom,” said Congresswoman Amata. “I can’t describe what it means to see all of them representing American Samoa with honor. I’m sure they miss home, but I find they are also happy, doing well and have strong friendships where they serve.”

Her itinerary included a tour of the U.S.S. Mesa Verde (LPD-19), an amphibious transport docked at Norfolk, Virginia, where she was hosted by Commander William R. Bridges. Following a Wednesday morning start at Fort Lee, Virginia, where she saw dozens of American Samoan troops, she proceeded to Fort Eustis; Naval Station Norfolk; Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Jackson, South Carolina; Fort Gordon and Fort Benning, Georgia. 

Fort Benning houses the National Infantry Museum where Gov. Uifa’atali Peter T. Coleman is enshrined in the Army Infantry OCS Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame includes 2,000 inductees, such as Major Dick Winters (Band of Brothers) and Bob Dole. 

At Fort Eustis, Amata was greeted by the Major General John Kline, who is Commanding General for the U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training, leading the transformation of 130,000 volunteers yearly into Soldiers. 

Amata enjoyed a visit with Samoans at Fort Eustis, Virginia — the U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training where each year over 130,000 troops receive their first military training. [courtesy photo]

Rep. Amata was pleased to recall she served in the House several years with his father, Congressman John Kline of Minnesota. It was in Amata’s first term in Congress, that Chairman Kline and the Education Committee increased the formula funding for American Samoa's Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) allotment starting the next year, boosting local education support by 67 percent, or nearly $8 million yearly.

 “I want to thank each of these Department of Defense locations and their commanders for their hospitality, and the opportunity to spend time with our Service Members. Thank you especially to the excellent work of the military liaisons who helped make a tight schedule work out better than I could have hoped,” concluded Aumua Amata. “Military professionals provided informative briefings, insights and tours at each Fort and military installation, and I appreciate it so much — but most of all, I appreciate their patriotic service.”

One of the 8 military installations Amata visited last week was Fort Gordon, Georgia were she visited with a large contingent of Samoan troops. [courtesy photo]