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Army Sgt. Myla L. Maravillosa

Died December 24, 2005 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

24, of Wahiawa, Hawaii; assigned to the 203rd Military Intelligence Battalion, Army Reserve, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.; died Dec. 24 in Kirkuk, Iraq, of injuries sustained earlier that day when her Humvee was attacked by enemy forces using rocket-propelled grenades in Hawijah, Iraq.

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Soldier remembered for her devotion to family, faith, new country

HONOLULU — The soldier from Central Oahu who was killed Saturday in Iraq emigrated from the Philippines in 1997 and wanted to serve her adopted country, a family member said Sunday.

Sgt. Myla L. Maravillosa, 24, of Wahiawa, died of injuries sustained in Al Hawijah, Iraq, when her Humvee was attacked by enemy forces using rocket-propelled grenades, the Defense Department said in a news release.

“She was doing a heroic job,” her mother Estelita Maravillosa told The Honolulu Advertiser.

Maravillosa joined the Army Reserve in 1999, after graduating from Leilehua High School and two years after moving to the United States. She was assigned to the Army Reserve’s 203rd Military Intelligence Battalion, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.

She had attended Leeward Community College and had aspirations of working at a U.S. embassy. She planned to attend Hawaii Pacific University this year, but was deployed to Iraq on Nov. 20.

Estelita Maravillosa, 62, was notified of the death on Christmas Eve at her Wahiawa apartment and was devastated by the news.

“This is a very bad Christmas,” she said. “She is my only child. She is my only daughter.”

Her daughter regularly attended the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in downtown Honolulu. St. Paul’s Cathedral in Boston also remembered Maravillosa during Mass on Sunday.

St. Paul’s is where she went for a Catholic retreat after her military training.

— Associated Press

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