NATION

Army Recruit Drowns During Exercise

A young man’s dream of becoming a disciplined and independent soldier has ended tragically. Ratu Meli Oscar Damudamu, 22, who joined the Republic of the Fiji Military Forces in October
02 Dec 2015 21:49
Army Recruit Drowns During Exercise
From left- Ratu Meli Damudamu's aunty, Asei Damudamu and his older brother, Ratu Tevita Damudamu at their home in Vatuwaqa yesterday.

A young man’s dream of becoming a disciplined and independent soldier has ended tragically.
Ratu Meli Oscar Damudamu, 22, who joined the Republic of the Fiji Military Forces in October this year for a 12- week basic recruitment course drowned on Tuesday, while trying to cross the Waidalice River during a field exercise near Korovou Town in Tailevu.
A delegation, led by the RFMF Chaplain Reverend Ilaitia Tuwere, conveyed the sad news to the victim’s family on Tuesday night.
“When they came we couldn’t belive it. We are still shocked and still trying to come to terms with his death,” the victim’s aunty Asei Damudamu said.
Ratu Meli’s body is currently at the Korovou Hospital in Tailevu awaiting the post mortem examination.
“He told me that he wanted to join the military because he wanted to be disciplined and after that he would come back and continue his studies. If there will be any officers’ cadet recruit afterwards he would want to be part of it,” an emotional Mrs Damudamu said.
Originally from Nakasaleka in Kadavu Ratu Meli came to live with Mrs Damudamu last year after completing his secondary education at Kadavu Provincial High School.
Ratu Meli was pursuing a diploma in architecture from the Fiji National University before joining the RFMF this year.

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