Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Joe G. Charfauros Jr. dies 'of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle'

The late CPL Joe Junior Gogue Charfauros is best remembered as a joker and someone who always brought a smile to the faces of family and friends.

Joe Junior's mother Annie described her second oldest son as having a good disposition in life.

“He is always the friendly one,” she said in a trembling voice.

Joe Junior is the latest CNMI son killed in action. He was reportedly killed last Thursday during a regular routine mission in Iraq.

Mrs. Charfauros recalled that the last time she talked to his son was in May. She said when Joe Junior called Rota from Iraq he would always ask for his wife Stellita. She said she would always pass the phone to his wife, but she never failed to always tell her son to take care of himself before handing over the phone.

She said her son's remains would be flown from Philadelphia on June 28, going directly to Rota. She said her son's “homecoming” could be on Monday or Tuesday next week depending on layovers from the point of origin.

Mrs. Charfauros said the whole family was more than surprised when they heard the news last weekend.

“It hurts. It's the first time,” she said bursting into tears during yesterday's phone interview. “I always told him to be careful. If I had the chance to talk to him, I would still tell him to be careful,” she said.

She said her husband and Joe Junior's father, Jose, is also grieving with the loss but refuses to show it. She said her son called his dad two Sundays ago to greet him on Father's Day. “He told Joe Junior to take care of himself,” she said.

Mrs. Charfauros said what breaks her heart more is that her other son, Jovan, is about to join the military. She said Jovan was in Guam and was about to go to training in the mainland when he learned about his brother's death.

She told Jovan to postpone the training and head back to Rota for his brother's funeral service.

She said as much as the family would want to stop Jovan from joining the military, the family had no choice but to let him go. Jovan already had completed his physical exams.

“Because he believes there's no life here on Rota,” she said, adding that she asked her other son so many times if he really is sure about his decision to follow his older brother's footsteps.

Mrs. Charfauros said the whole family hasn't been informed about what actually happened in Iraq that took away their son's life.

Joe Junior is survived by his wife Stellita and three kids, Mikeangela, Junelle and Joe II.

Joe Junior was a police officer on Rota. He enlisted to the military last year. He went back to Rota in December 2006 for his wedding.

From the Saipan Tribune