Saipan, North Mariana Islands, US
United States Army
SSGT, Echo Company, 100th Battalion, 442d Infantry
Fort Hood, US, 10/09/2008
Sergeant Julian Manglona was on one of the final legs of his Army training Thursday before his scheduled deployment on a year-long tour of duty in Kuwait-a 6-mile run on the grounds of Fort Hood, Texas-when he suddenly collapsed.
Manglona, 39, later died at a nearby hospital.
In a letter, Command Sergeant. Major Glenn Gomes said Manglona was a talented soldier and “one of our best and brightest leaders.”
“He always placed the mission first,” Gomes wrote. “He never accepted defeat. He never quit. And he would never leave a fallen comrade. .He will be sorely missed by his soldiers, his fellow NCOs, his company, and this entire command.”
In 2004, not long after U.S. occupation of Iraq began, Manglona re-enlisted in the Army-he first joined at age 18, serving for a term-and soon found himself on his way into combat. He returned in 2006 to the CNMI, where he had long protected his community as a local police officer.
In December of that year, he met Brenda, then a cadet in Air Force boot camp, at a military store on Saipan. She was reluctant, she said, when he first asked her for a date as she was scheduled to leave for training in two weeks. But Julian was persistent and after some urging, Brenda agreed to have dinner with him-only to become so nervous on the night they were to meet that they skipped the meal to spend the evening strolling through the garden at the Hyatt Regency. Julian proposed three months later and they married in July.
“It just felt right,” Brenda said.
The two later became parents to Maxine Julianne Manglona, born on Christmas Eve. Julian had seven children previously and, according to Brenda, did his best to provide for all of them.
Manglona also had a love of the oceans, spending his free time fishing and piloting one of his boats on the water, an interest that crossed over into his police career when he began doing boat safety work and even took part in rescue work. And then came the day he was to leave again for the Army.
“It was really hard,” said Brenda. “He made so many promises about all the things we would do when he came back.”
His wife Brenda urged those who knew him to remember the man he had become in life.
“He became such a great person, a loving person. He embodied the best father, friend and family member and he always made every effort to make the people around him smile. I love him.”