NEWS

Families Thank PM, RFMF For Assistance

Families of loyal soldiers killed in the 2000 crisis yesterday expressed their gratitude for the help they are receiving. They thanked the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and Prime Minister
03 Nov 2016 11:31
Families Thank PM, RFMF For Assistance
Salanieta Ratuleca Rawaileba lays a wreath on the memorial shrine during Remembrance Day at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks in Nabua yesterday. Photo: Vilimoni Vaganalau

Families of loyal soldiers killed in the 2000 crisis yesterday expressed their gratitude for the help they are receiving.

They thanked the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

The RFMF has provided financial help while Mr Bainimarama’s Government is building new homes at the Nakasi sub-division, Nausori, for the families of four soldiers and two Police officers killed in the line of duty.

Three families yesterday attended a remembrance ceremony at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks in Nabua.

Emotional Salanieta Rawaileba, 46, said: “I thank the Prime Minister and the army officers for today.”

Her husband, Lance Corporal Simione Rawaileba, was one of the soldiers killed by rebels.

The three remembered yesterday were:

Private (PTE) Osea Rokosirinavosa of Daviqele, Nabukelevu, Kadavu.

Lance corporal (LCPL) Simione Rawaileba of Lomainasau, Tokatoka.

Private (PTE) Temo Veilewai of Cicia, Naceva, Lau.

“When my husband left us, we faced a lot of challenges and difficulties because I was a housewife and my five children were just kids. My eldest son was 13-years-old and the youngest was just 10-months-old,” said Mrs Rawaileba.

Mrs Rawaileba said that the RFMF had been very supportive ever since her husband died.

It had always been supporting them financially.

“They offered me a job here in Queen Elizabeth Barracks to help in our family finance,” she said.

Two of Mrs Rawaileba’s children have now joined the RFMF as well, another two are in search of jobs while the youngest is in Year 12.

“They are now giving us a newly-built house which I never expected from them.

“I just came back from sighting the new house and I am thankful for what the Government has done for us, even after my husband left they still remember us. I am now at ease and grateful,” she said.

 

A daughter’s lament

Losing the only hope in the family was burdensome said Roliku Vosailagi, 26, daughter of late PTE Rokosirinavosa, said.

“When my dad left us, my two younger siblings and I were really small. I was just 10-years-old,” she said.

She added that her father was the sole bread winner of the family and when he left them, they lost all hope.

“Life was difficult for everyone at home, especially my mom because she was a housewife. But we are really glad that the active Government and the RFMF have always been supporting us,” she said.

“I always look forward to the Memorial Day because it always makes me feel close to my dad and that we always think of him and what he gave his life for.

“We are really glad that the Government and the RFMF are still remembering us even though our dad is long gone,” she added with tears in her eyes.

“I thank the RFMF and the Government for the support and their attention on us and also to the families who have lost their brothers and fathers in the army,” she said.

Ms Vosailagi’s mother Elesi Rokosirinavosa said: “When my husband died, it was very difficult because my kids were too small. My eldest was just in Class 5 and one was five years and the youngest was three-years-old.”

She said life was tough for her.

“We faced financial issues especially supporting my kids with their school works.  I thank the RFMF for their support towards my children’s’ education from primary school to tertiary institute. I thank the Lord for answering my prayers,” she said.

“I didn’t even have a chance to say goodbye to my husband,” she said.

“Apart from financial support, now the Government is giving us a complete new house. I can’t express how happy I am but I just thank the Lord,” she added.

“My eldest daughter is now working at Shop & Save, the next one has just been recruited by the Fijian Army and my son (youngest) is now doing foundation studies at Fiji National University,” she concluded.

 

Veilewai’s joy

The wife of the late Private Veilewai, Liku Veilewai, was also thankful for the tremendous support they had been receiving from the RFMF and the Government.

“When my husband died my relatives had been supporting me and my children – one was eight-years-old and the other one was five. The RFMF had also been very supportive,” she said.

“I am thankful to the Lord for giving me good health to look after my children.

“Now my son is also part of the RFMF and my daughter is now doing Accounting course at Fiji National University.”

When asked about the new house, she said that she was so thankful to the Government and the RFMF for giving them the house to remember her husband.

“Even though we did not give the army or Government anything in return, they had never forgotten us at any time. I’m thankful to the commander and the Prime Minister for this special day,” she concluded.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  selita.bolanavanua@fijisun.com.fj



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