United States military officers and the Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Leslie Bassett, will be representing the U.S. government at the funeral service in Siquijor of the late Sgt. Zaniah Creamer, a Filipino-American soldier who died while serving in war-torn Afghanistan.
A press release from the U.S. Embassy in Manila quoted Chargé Bassett as saying, “Sgt. Creamer selflessly dedicated her life to the service of others.”
“She reminds all of us that the freedoms we enjoy are earned through the sacrifice of our military. We will always be grateful to her, and honor her memory.”
Creamer, who was killed in action while serving in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan early this month, will be buried with full U.S. military honors at the family cemetery in Siquijor province Friday.
Known as “Caye”, Creamer, 28, was a trained dog handler in the U.S. Army military police and was part of a unit that inspected buildings and vehicles for explosives. She was killed when an improvised bomb exploded while she was conducting route and building clearance for an air assault mission in Howz E Madad, Kandahar, Afghanistan, on January 12, the U.S. Embassy-Manila press release said.
She joined the U.S. Army in 2004 and has been assigned for training and service at U.S. military camps in Missouri, New York, and Texas. She also served in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The numerous awards and decorations that she received during her six years of service include the Iraq Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Afghanistan Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Combat Action Badge, the Expert Rifle Badge, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Army Achievement Medal.
At the memorial ceremony, the U.S. government will also award Creamer the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart Medal, the NATO Medal, and the Meritorious Service Medal.
Creamer is survived by her mother Carlyn Daug Brown, who resides in Maria, Siquijor province, her brother George, who lives in Texarkana, Arkansas, and her aunt Lutchie Castleman in Lewisville, Arkansas.
Meanwhile, family and friends of the late Creamer say she is a hero that will make Siquijodnons and Filipinos proud of.
Krystal Napoli, 29, a cousin, said she recalls that Caye was cheerful and full of life in whatever she did, and was a go-getter.
Carlyn Daug Brown, Zaniah’s mother, was teary-eyed when she said she lost a special person and it is very painful.
The late Sgt. Creamer was deployed to Afghanistan on Oct. 26, 2010, along with K-9 dog, Jofa, who incidentally survived the same attack that killed Zaniah.
Diosdado Daug fondly recalls Zaniah as very amusing in her responses and kept a constant communication with her family in Siquijor after she had left the island.
He further said Zaniah was very kind to her cousins and the children in the family, and spent lots of pleasant moments with her mother’s relatives in Siquijor.
She was truly a brave soldier, willing to face whatever consequences that came her way, and she was also a woman who trusted God and to whom she entrusted her life, Daug added. *JFP
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