Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
It is very difficult to write about Nainoa Hoe, who died during the relatively recent conflict in Afghanistan, whilst protecting the confidentiality of living family, friends and service personnel that loved him so much, but i will try.
1st Lieutenant Nainoa K Hoe was part of C Division operation “Iraqi Freedom” force, and was in his dream job as commander of the 41 man 2nd platoon, when he was fatally shot by a sniper on 22 January 2005, aged just 27. He had been on active service in Iraq since October 2004.
Originally from Kailua a suburb of Honolulu, Hawaii, Nainoa K Hoe was a meticulous college student and earned his bachelor’s degree in management information systems in 1995, and later his master’s degree in business studies from the University of Hawaii.
Nainoa had enlisted in the US Army as a regular cadet on 6th January 2000, but returned to the Reserve Officers Training Corp (ROTC) where he was praised by his superiors as being a standout commander. He was recognized for all the right reasons. Officially Nainoa had been stationed at Fort Lewis in Washington, but his home was with his wife in Oregon.
Lieutenant Nainoa’s K. Hoe’s task that day, as well as searching the area for insurgents in the pouring rain, was to help encourage the scared and frightened public to exercise their 1st ever democratic vote in the elections the following day. For hours, armed soldiers handed out election flyers, while trying to reassure the public it would be safe to vote, and hoping they weren’t shot at. The elections highlight the complex role of modern military personnel, who must mix the ‘civilian’ duties while armed. With such a tinderbox of violence and tension in the area, there were no ‘non-governmental peacekeeping organisations’ to do the canvassing, and not even the candidates were on the streets.
The company later regrouped, and Lieutenant Hoe was escorting military intelligence officers who wanted to know why a local clinic had refused free medical supplies. Not wanting to alarm locals, Lieutenant Hoe ordered the 21-ton Stryker attack vehicles to halt a block or so away. This proved to be a deadly decision that he would pay for with his life. As the group advanced on foot to the clinic, a sniper on the other side of the road, caught him at the shoulder just to the side of his body armour. The bullet passed through his lungs, puncturing his main aorta. His men bravely entered a barrage of open fire in a vain attempt to protect him, and drag his body to an alleyway.
A memorial service was held at the Main Post Chapel, where his father (himself a veteran of the Vietnam war) saluted a photograph of his son, and spoke to fellow service members who had come to show their respects for 1st Lieutenant Nainoa K Hoe.
General Robert Brown – who was Nainoa’s colonel at the time of his death, said he had got to know him, “Nainoa was an authentic leader, the men loved him, they would follow him anywhere”
Nainoa is buried at the Hawaiian State Veterans Cemetery site, not far from where he grew up in Kailua. His funeral was attended by hundreds of mourners, was a celebration of his life, and included Hawaiian Chants, full military Honors and bag-pipes that could be heard across the valley.
Nainoa was very proud of his Hawaiian ancestry and warrior heart. He enjoyed singing karaoke, swimming and surfing. Nainoa lived life to the max, and had the rare combination of level-headedness with a sense of fun and mischief.
Nainoa was posthumously awarded the Bronze star and a purple heart. The 1st Lt. Nainoa Hoe Scholarship – awarded for athleticism, public-spirited-ness, and leadership has been introduced.
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