The family of the late U.S. Army Specialist Hanson Mendiola of Tinian is seeking a speedy investigation into the cause of his death in Corpus Christi, Texas on July 22, even as the Senate is drafting a resolution to honor his contributions to the CNMI and the country and to express condolences to the bereaved family.
His father, Tinian resident Francisco “Frank” Mendiola, said the U.S. Army has been investigating the cause of death of his eldest son, whom he describes as a “loving, respectful, and kind” person.
“The investigation is not over yet. We might hear more from the Army on Tuesday, which is Monday in the U.S.,” Mendiola told Saipan Tribune.
The family hopes that the Army specialist's remains will arrive on Tinian this week.
“We plan to bury him on Tinian,” the father added. “I want Hanson to be remembered for his kindness. Everybody loves Hanson. People, when they learn that Hanson is my son, have been telling me that my son is a nice and kind person.”
Senate Vice President Jude Hofschneider (R-Tinian), chairman of the Tinian Legislative Delegation, separately said “the community is shocked and saddened by the passing of Hanson.”
“He is a bright young man who has so much to offer. He is a great loss to the people of our community. He will be missed,” Hofschneider said.
He said the resolution being prepared in Mendiola's honor will be sponsored by the committee of the whole.
“On behalf of the delegation, I extend our deepest sympathy to the family,” Hofschneider added.
The older Mendiola earlier said they were just told that his son was brought to the intensive care unit and that he passed away in Texas on July 22. His son was 29. He said they don't have any more details at this time.
The younger Mendiola joined the U.S. Army some four years ago, after teaching at Tinian High School for some two years. The father said his son graduated valedictorian in high school, and earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science at Western Oregon University. He was stationed in South Korea for a year before going back to Fort Meade in Maryland. At the time of his death, he was on rest and recreation in Texas, the father said.
The late Army specialist was born on March 18, 1983, to parents Francisco “Frank” Mendiola and Erlinda Sangalang-Mendiola. A nightly rosary is being held at San Jose Church on Tinian at 8pm.