Deyson K.-Cariaga-Obituary

Sgt. Deyson K. Cariaga

Honolulu, Hawaii

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Honolulu, Hawaii

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Sgt. Deyson Ken Cariaga was like any 20-year-old. He liked to surf and loved to sleep. But he was also compassionate, selfless and committed to his mission in Iraq, his older brother, Lance, said Monday. Cariaga was the first Hawaii citizen-soldier to die in combat since the Vietnam War. He would have turned 21 next week. He had been in Iraq for six months. "He was a soldier. There is no doubt about it. But he was a person as well. And that's what I think I want people to remember him as," Lance Cariaga, 32, said Monday. An avid long-board surfer, the younger Cariaga graduated in 2002 from Oahu's Roosevelt High School. His mother, Theresa Inouye, said support from family, friends and people who never even really knew her son is helping her and her family cope with his death July 8 in Iraq. "Just the outpour of sympathy has been a really big comfort to us," Inouye said. During a press conference the family held Monday, Inouye said that she wanted to give those who didn't know her son an idea of the kind of person he was _ a local boy who loved the ocean and put his family first. He also adored children. "He was always the pied piper and all the little kids would follow him," she said. Reports that Cariaga regularly carried around a backpack filled with toys to hand out to needy Iraqi children fit his character, she said. Cariaga's competitive spirit lead him to join the Army National Guard, she said. Assigned to the 229th Military Intelligence Company, 29th Separate Infantry Brigade, Cariaga's job was to gather intelligence in the field by going house to house or through local contacts. He was driving a Humvee in a convoy returning to base late on the night of July 8 when his vehicle ran over an explosive device. Three other troops were injured, none seriously. In weekly e-mails and telephone calls since his deployment in January, Cariaga described Iraq to his family as hot and dusty. "Just thinking of what he was confronting there _ very, very different situation from training and home life _ and I think at that point, my interpretation was that it hit home: War is not a nice thing," Inouye said. But while he became lonely and longed for Hawaii _ often trawling the Internet for DVDs of surfing films to remind him of home _ he believed in his mission, she said. "The death of my son is just a very big loss for myself and my family. But I think Deyson would have wanted his soldiers, his buddies, his friends to be strong and to carry out the mission that they were sent there for," she said. A service for Cariaga is scheduled for Thursday at 5 p.m. local time at Mission Memorial Auditorium in Honolulu. Burial of his ashes is scheduled for the next morning at 9:30 at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

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Not sure what to say?

Think about you everyday and what the world missed not having you, great kid, soldier and friend to many.

I remember you.

Thinking of you with fond memories....
Thank you Peggy Childers for remembering too!
~~Mom

To the family and friends of Sgt. Deyson K. Cariaga:
Always remembering Deyson. "Some gave all."

Still missing you,
Love Mom.

July 5, 2012
On the 7th anniversary of Deyson, he is being thought of and spirit honored.

Thank you young man for fighting for the freedom of all nations and for doing it for reasons you believed in. It has not been in vane. You sacrificed and suffered as a person and soldier] as well as your family. For this we owe you perpetual gratitude and rememberance.

To the family and friends of Sgt. Deyson K. Cariaga:
Please accept my remembrance of Deyson on the anniversary of his passing and know that he will never be forgotten.

To the family and friends of Sgt. Deyson K. Cariaga:
Remembering Deyson on the anniversary of his passing. May our fallen heroes never be forgotten!
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
www.IraqWarHeroes.org