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Remembering two fallen soldiers

by Brittany Yap, staff writer

Two weeks after a tragic helicopter crash in Mosul, Iraq killed 17 people, Assistant Dean of Military Programs at HPU, Ralph Gallogly, learned that one of his students had died in the crash.

According to a Honolulu Star Bulletin article dated Nov. 22, 2003, 2nd Lt. Jeremy Wolfe, 27, “was piloting one of the two Black Hawk helicopters that collided over Mosul, killing himself and 16 other 101st Airborne Division soldiers.” Wolfe, who was stationed out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, died on Nov. 15, 2003.

 

“He always wanted to fly,” said Gallogly. “He was serious about what he was doing, and his focus was to get into flight school.”

Wolfe was from Menomonie, Wis. and was stationed at Schofield Barracks. He attended HPU from 1998-2002 and graduated with a degree in computer information systems. In 1999, while at HPU, Wolfe enrolled in Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) to become a commissioned officer.

At ROTC, Wolfe met Nainoa Hoe, who was also there to become a commissioned officer. 1st Lt. Hoe was shot and killed Jan. 22, 2005 by a sniper while leading his men on foot patrol in Mosul, reported a Honolulu Advertiser article dated January 29, 2005.

Hoe was a local boy from Kailua, O‘ahu and a graduate from Kamehameha Schools. Close friend, 1st Lt. Ray O’Donnell, described Hoe as being a born leader and a great friend. He said that when Wolfe died, Hoe took it very hard. Hoe was also a member of the 100th Battalion 442nd infantry. “ His number one goal was to lead his men into combat and bring them home safely,” said O’Donnell. After that, Hoe’s second goal was to “come back to Emily and start a family.”

Hoe enjoyed karaoke singing at Fisherman’s Wharf and running and swimming at Ala Moana Beach Park. O’Donnell said that he will never forget his big smile and sharp sense of humor. “He always did things right, he never did anything half way,” said O’Donnell.

Allen Hoe said that his son was full of life, respectful and “kolohe” at times. He did not realize how widespread his son’s influence was. The family has been receiving love and support from people who knew Hoe as a friend, a soldier, and a great leader. “We’re getting messages from across the world,” said Hoe. “This has been an incredible experience for [our family]. That’s how we wanted to raise him.”Retired Lt. Col. Bob Takao, who was Wolfe and Hoe’s UH professor of military science, said “they both were professionals” and that “other kids respected them.” He also described them as leaders who did not act like “know-it-alls”, but instead, trained their soldiers without using intimidation. In their senior year, both were the cadet battalion commanders of their class.

According to Takao, between their junior and senior years, the two ranked in the top 5 percent out of nearly 1,500 students and won awards at a leadership camp held at Fort Lewis, Wash, where their leadership abilities and physical fitness were assessed. Takao described Wolfe’s life in terms of archetypal story. “Haole” boy comes over to HPU, meets local girl, they get married and become officers together. Wolfe met Christine Tadeo in the ROTC program. “He adapted to Hawaiian culture through his girlfriend,” said Takao. They were married in October 2001, according to a close friend, and Christine is a lieutenant assigned to Fort Campbell, KY.

“ They had so much promise, and it is sad to see people of that caliber lose their lines so early,” said Takao. “If they continued along the path, they would have been considered for generals. They had the potential.”

 

2004, Kalamalama, the HPU Student Newspaper. All rights reserved.
 
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