Newlywed soldier hasn’t yet seen her husband, also in the Army in Kuwait

It must be war when a newlywed Kaua’i native must send loving greetings via letter through her mom in Hanapepe to her husband who is also in the Army in Kuwait.

You see, U.S. Army Spc. Leah (Lagundino) Gaines and Sequint Gaines, both out of Fort Campbell in Clarksville, Tenn., were married there in November, are both in Kuwait, and haven’t seen each other since they deployed to Kuwait.

She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Bumagat of Hanapepe, and works to make sure the Army is supplied and has equipment including working vehicles in order to fight and win a war.

After not hearing from her daughter for awhile, Delia Bumagat, housekeeping supervisor at Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club in Po’ipu, received four letters from Mrs. Gaines on Monday.

The letters all said basically the same thing: Send love to my husband, send chips, arare, teriyaki snacks, socks, other necessities. I’m fine, mom, don’t worry, Bumagat said.

Of course, the mom worries.

“Oh, my gosh, I’m so worried,” said Bumagat as she prepared to send her daughter a care package including canned potato chips, teriyaki snacks, socks, a sports bra, and other goodies her daughter has requested.

“I sent her food. I hope it goes,” she said.

“She’s doing fine,” said Bumagat, reassuring herself as much as relaying information to a reporter.

The daughter also requested some local music, and apparently it is difficult to get good Hawaiian or reggae compact discs in Kuwait.

That’s why Daniel Bumagat, 14, of Hanapepe Heights, spent some of his spring-break time this week burning a CD for his sister.

Gaines, 22, a Kaua’i native and 1999 Waimea High School graduate, is one of many female soldiers in combat positions in Kuwait.

She helps load ordnance onto Army ground- and aerial-assault vehicles, said her mother.

Though Gaines tells her mother in letters, “Ma, I’m doing fine,” and that the combat pay she is receiving is good, her mother continues to watch TV coverage of the war, and worry, she says.

The newlyweds are trying to become parents, and were hoping that a positive pregnancy would keep at least one of them from being deployed into a war zone. As of the latest available information, there is no baby on board.

Another of Bumagat’s children, son Ourigner Lagundino, is in the U.S. Air Force at Nellis Air Force near Las Vegas, and has not yet been deployed yet, his mother said.

Staff Writer Paul C. Curtis can be reached at mailto:pcurtis@pulitzer.net or 245-3681 (ext. 224).

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